Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Paper

874 Words4 Pages
The Hawaiian monk seal, a carnivorous seal known to native Hawaiians as the ʻIlio-holo-i-ka-uaua, or "dog that runs in rough water", is a species of seals that are endemic to Hawaii. These seals and the Hawaiian Hoary Bat are the only two species that are endemic to the islands of Hawaii, both of which are severely endangered. Before this species became endangered, the monk seals were from 3 different species. The Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Hawaiian monk seals were all safe from extinction at that time, but in 1952, the last recorded sighting of a Caribbean monk seal was announced, and in 2008, the species was officially declared extinct, after a 5 year search of its habitat. The only remaining species of monk seals are both critically endangered, seemingly unaided…show more content…
In the monk seals’ environment, they are one of the apex predators of the food web, among tiger sharks and Galapagos sharks (Muneoka). If the Hawaiian monk seals were to become fully extinct, regardless of their already miniscule population, the balance of the food chain would be shifted, and many animals that are normally preyed upon (e.g. lobster, eel) by the Hawaiian monk seal would be able to survive longer and reproduce, resulting in overpopulation. This now overpopulated species would deplete their usual food source, which in turn would shift this food chain once more INCLUDE BIODIVERSITY. The reason this species of monk seals is endangered can be blamed on a variety of reasons. To start off, their habitat has been shrinking rapidly in the northwest islands of Hawaii. They also frequently get tangled in marine debris, from both litter and fishing supplies such as nets. The survival rate of the monk seal pups is extremely low, due to shark attacks. Both the pups and the fully-grown seals also have a hard time finding animals to prey upon, specifically lobster, due to overfishing

    More about Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Paper

      Open Document