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Archive for the ‘RP32’ Category

Field Report: September 2021

Monthly Update: The Kauai team logged 251 seal sightings this month. This included 30 individually identified seals.

  • September: 251
  • August: 213
  • July: 286
  • June: 218
  • May: 209
  • April: 155
  • March: 137
  • February: 119
  • January: 125
  • December: 119
  • November: 133
  • October: 152
  • September: 152

New:

  • Discovered another new yearling male seal near Kapaa. The seal is likely from Niihau and we hope to flipper tag him soon.
  • Off-leash dogs and irresponsible pet owners continue to disturb seals. Two large dogs were witnessed by the public harassing a large seal at Makua (also known as “Tunnels”). The seal was lunging and vocalizing at the dogs as the dogs continued to circle and bark at it. No physical contact was made. The owner was out snorkeling and did little to intervene once out of the water. DOCARE and the Humane Society were contacted. The Humane Society field officer said they will focus patrols in that area. Additional reports of off-leash dogs were received this month. 

Updates:

  • Adult female RK28 pupped on the north shore on August 10, 2021. The mother and pup (KP3) remained in the area until the pup weaned on October 2, 2021. The nursing period was 53 days. Flipper tagging and vaccination is scheduled for October.
  • The female pup RP20 born at Polihale and translocated to the north shore after weaning has remained in the release area; and has been sighted socializing with other juvenile seals regularly. 
  • 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; and
    • 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: RP32 received her initial vaccine this month.

Molting: Four seals molted this month.

Volunteers:

  • The volunteer response program was restarted in a modified form in June after being on hold since March, 2020. Currently, volunteers are dispatched for hauled out monk seal reports to post signs, assess and ID the seal, collect routine data, and then depart the area. Outreach/education should be as minimal as possible to reduce COVID exposure risk. For busy locations, a spot check schedule will be established. This technique has proven effective and will continue until further notice.
  • The training of new volunteers has been on hold due to COVID Delta variant surging. Program information and follow-up emails sent to new recruits.

Research/Support of PIFSC:

  • Subsampled KP3 tissue plug for NOAA 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 #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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