Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘RN44’ Category

(P)update #41

It’s been a little over two weeks since RH92 was tagged. She has been busy exploring up and down the coastline near where she was born, and she’s been making a few friends, too–there’s Temp325, RN44, RN30, 3CU, RK05, RV18 and even recently de-hooked RF28 sporting a tracking device on his back. We have not witnessed her eat any sea cucumbers, as many weaners inevitably do, but she has tried seaweed. Basically, she’s just being a wild monk seal and doing a good job of it, at that.

Here are a few photos of her escapades.

108

Photo credit: G. Langley

115-002

Photo credit: G. Langley

136

Photo credit: G. Langley

143

Photo credit: G. Langley

144-001

Photo credit: G. Langley

172-001

Photo credit: G. Langley

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

(P)update #29

RK22 and PK2 had a couple swims today that totaled over four hours and were interrupted for three feedings and a variety of company. In one photo below, you can see a turtle, RN44, RV18, mom and pup. 3CU was also in the area.

Photo credit: G. Langley

Photo credit: G. Langley

Photo credit: G. Langley

By now, PK2’s teeth have started to erupt through her gums. Monk seals have two pair of eight teeth each for a total of 32, just like humans.

Photo credit: G. Langley

Here’s PK3. No confirmed gender yet. Still learning how the body works!

Photo credit: G. Langley

Read Full Post »

(P)update #20

Here’s a side by side look at the size comparison of PK22/mom and pup/PK2. Give pup another week or so, and her girth will be comparable to mom’s.

RK22 and PK2 Side by SideRK22 and PK2

Today, three-year-old male RN44 hauled out near mom and pup. RN44 was born along this same stretch of beach to one of our more productive females–RH58, also known as Rocky.

RN44One other visitor on the beach–this snoozing green sea turtle.
Honu Sleeping

Read Full Post »

2015 Recap

2015 Total Numbers for Kauai Marine Mammal Response Network

We tallied the efforts of our 100+ member volunteer network over the past year and are excited to share the numbers with all of you. The gradual increase in seal sightings and numbers clearly show that monk seals are doing well in the Main Hawaiian Islands. We want to emphasize that it is the efforts of our volunteers that make this possible!

 Grand sightings total: 3,321 (9.1/day) monk seal sightings on Kauai in 2015 (up from 2,516 in 2014 or 6.9 seals/day)!

  •   Kauai population: 53 unique individual seals sighted in 2015 (47 in 2014)
  •   Births: 4 seal pups born on Kauai. Two pregnant females likely pupped on Ni’ihau (RK14 and RK28 departed pregnant, returned thin)
  •  Mortalities: RF22 – died from propeller strike
  •   Ni’ihau Seals: sighted 14 new seals in 2015 likely from Ni’ihau
  •   Kauai team flipper tagged 5 of these new unknown juveniles
  •   Bleach marking effort: 22 bleach marks were applied

Stranding: 6 monk seal responses.

  •  R6AP – dewormed and examined, SAT tag showed seal moved to Ni’ihau
  •  RN44 – circle hook removed from cheek at Larsens Beach. Full recovery.
  •  RF22 – found dead, cause of death was propeller strike.
  •  RF28 – ingested a circle hook. Transported to Oahu for surgical removal, released at Waipake after successful hook removal.
  •  RF28 – follow-up capture/exam due to flipper lameness. Minor laceration discovered, seal fully recovered from hooking.
  •  N1AA – J hook removed on the beach at PMRF. Full recovery.

Read Full Post »

RN44 De-Hooked!

A two year old male, RN44, was discovered at Waipake on April 3 with a large ulua hook in his left cheek. A heavy monofilament leader with swivel was attached to the hook and extended 18″ outside RN44’s body. Unfortunately, RN44 was resting on a large lava bench where he could not be safely captured, so we had to wait until he hauled up in a safe location.

hawaiian monk seal with fish hook in cheek

Photo credit: Langley

RN44 was re-sighted on April 8. He attempted to haul-out several times along Waipake Beach, however the leader kept getting caught under his body and pulling on the hook, creating obvious discomfort. This action prevented him from hauling-out.

He was more successful on the morning of April 10, where RN44 was found sleeping several feet above the wave wash at the south end of Lepeuli Beach. A visual examination revealed the hook’s barb had pierced his cheek. A team assembled, safely caught him, and using a bolt cutters, successfully removed the hook and leader.

Read Full Post »

Field Report: Winter 2013

2013 Year in Review: 2,249 individual seal sightings were reported in 2013 for an average of 6.2 seals per day! Again, the tireless efforts of the volunteer network made this possible. The Hui identified 43 different seals including 2 pups that were born on the north shore last summer. We also identified 6 new seals that made visits from nearby islands, perhaps from Niihau, Ka’ula and Lehua rock. As reported previously, a number of seals were entangled with fish hooks in 2013. We are pleased to report that all seven hookings resulted in successful hook removal and recovery!

Photo credit: Langley

Photo credit: Langley

Weaners (weaned seal pups): Close monitoring of weaned seals continued through the 2013 season and as this photo indicates, pup RN44 has successfully learned to forage on his own. His body condition would be rated as extremely healthy. He was also bleach marked (using common human hair bleach) with the identifier V44. These bleach marks only bleach the fur and last until the next annual molt. In the meantime, this marking makes identification by beach goers, spear fishers, boaters, and volunteers much easier, especially if these curious young seals exhibit problematic behaviors such as approaching spear fishers or swimmers.

Molting: As we reported last year, winter is a time when many adult male seals

Photo credit: Honnert

Photo credit: Honnert

molt. Scroll down to learn more about this physiologically demanding process.  RK31 is currently undergoing his annual molt as shown in this photo. It is important to give molting seals space, so if you encounter a molting seal please encourage all beach users to “Let sleeping seals lie” or, in this case, molt!

Unknown visitor: In December an unknown sub-adult male seal was sighted on the north shore and immediately reported by one of our lead volunteers.

Photo credit: Langley

Photo credit: Langley

Typically unknown seals such as this only spend a few days on Kauai before disappearing again. Knowing this, we quickly organized a tagging team and successfully

flipper tagged this seal as R6AW and injected a small microchip tag (just like the microchips dogs and cats get). After tagging, this seal spent the remainder of the day resting on the beach, departed that evening and has not been re-sighted since. Later, during photographic analysis of unique scar patterns, this seal was matched with photos from previous fieldwork in the Lehua Rock/Niihau area.

Read Full Post »