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Archive for the ‘RM36’ Category

Monk Seal Monday #141: Meet RP32.

Kauai’s first pup of 2021 was born on April 23rd. On September 10th, he received his official flipper tags–P32 on his left flipper and P33 on his right.

Thanks to regular reports by volunteers and interested beachgoers, we have a bit of a history of what the youngster’s been up to in recent months:

  • After weaning around June 16th, he hung around his natal beach for a few weeks.
  • Then, he started to explore coastlines south of his birth area.
  • On July 15th, he was bleach-marked “V1,” making it easier to identify him, though he also has a distinct natural bleach marks, too–white tip on his right fore-flipper and a big white spot on his right side. The combination of the three bleach marks made it easy to identify him.
  • On July 29th, P32 was found with an ulua hook in the corner of his mouth. Fortunately, it was superficial and he was able to free himself of the hook by August 5th.
  • Once RP20 was translocated to this same area, P32 was often seen interacting with his and pups from 2020, RM36 and RM58.
  • Starting August 29th, P32 went missing.
  • He reappeared on Sept. 10th and, at that time, he was outfitted with flipper tags. Now, he goes by the permanent identification of RP32.

PC: M. Olry and V. Poelzl.

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Field Report: April 2021

Update: The Kauai team logged 155 seal sightings this month. This included 31 individually identified seals.

  • April 155
  • March: 137
  • February: 119
  • January: 125
  • December: 119
  • November: 133
  • October: 152
  • September: 152
  • August: 198
  • July: 120
  • June: 81
  • May: 147
  • April: 117


New:

  • Flipper tagged a new yearling seal likely from Niihau. New ID is R2XW. 
  • Flipper tagged 2020 pup PK1 as RM36. 
  • RB00 pupped on north shore beach. Pup KP1 is thriving.
  • 3-year-old male R1NI washed ashore dead at west side. Carcass was fresh code 2, collected and frozen on Kauai, then shipped to Oahu for necropsy. 
  • Return of visitors with Kauai entering Safe Travels Program causing increased disturbance to seals at Poipu. More signs put at racks at Poipu beach park to manage SRA without ropes and volunteers deployed.

Updates:

  • Subadult male seal RK58 was returned from KKO after 6 weeks of rehab and released at on March 26. He was treated at KKO for likely dog attack injuries that resulted in significant weight loss and infected puncture wounds.
  • Due to COVID-19 stay-at-home measures, our new methods of monitoring continue, which include:
    • Weekly surveys of key areas conducted by staff
    • DAR staff conducting weekly island wide Creel Surveys
    • PMRF staff continuing to send in routine reports and photos
    • Requesting that people who call the hotline to report seals assist us by sending several photos and setting-up SRA signs or sticks. 

Morbillivirus Vaccination: RM28 received the initial vaccine this month.

Volunteers: 

  • Volunteer program remains on hold due to COVID-19.

Research/Support of PIFSC:

  • Sub-sampled scat, molt, and tissue plug samples accordingly.
  • Logged all seal sightings for PIFSC database. Organized photos and reported sightings, molt tallies, survival factors to send to PIFSC.

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Monk Seal Monday: #126: Meet M36

Finally, last year’s first-born pup, who came into this world the day before a big storm on March 15 to RB00, was flipper-tagged M36 (left flipper) and M37 (right flipper). Seals typically receive their flipper-tags shortly after being weaned. At the same time, measurements are taken–length and girth. However, when M36 weaned after 45 days of nursing on the last day in April, COVID precautions prevented any seal handling. Until last week.

Last summer, M36 was bleach-marked “V00,” and the bleach is still visible on her side; only instead of bleached white, it’s green. In the next few weeks to couple months, M36 will experience her first catastrophic molt, in which over 10 days to two weeks, she’ll shed the top layer of her skin and fur. Seals spend such a great amount of time at sea that algae actually grows on their fur. Once she finishes molting, M36 will sport a new silvery coat.

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