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Hawaiian Monk Seal ‘Makoa’ Found Dead On North Shore of Oahu
Recently weaned Hawaiian monk seal RL36, also known as Makoa, died earlier this month on the north shore of Oahu, according to NOAA Fisheries.
NOAA Fisheries said Makoa was found dead Nov. 9 and officials were unable to identify his cause of death from examination and initial necropsy results. Officials did not identify the beach where he died.
“Tissue samples will be examined further to look for causes of death that could not be detected during the necropsy, and we will provide an update once we receive the results,” NOAA Fisheries said in a statement.
HMSPO Receives 3-year NOAA Grant for REAP Program (Recovery through Education And Preservation)
Press Release, October 1, 2019 – HMSPO would like to take this opportunity to “Toot our own horn” as they say. This past September, we were officially notified that the grant application we submitted to NOAA in late 2018 was funded for the full amount of nearly $45,000. Wow! Mahalo NOAA!
Written with NOAA’s Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Management Plan for the Island of Oahu in mind, HMSPO proposes to partner with NOAA to help increase the participation of local communities in NOAA’s HMS recovery efforts by focusing on coexistence and cultural sensitivity through education and outreach…at all levels and in all places. Program efforts incorporate cultural and economic activities that will promote a more healthy and productive coastal ecosystem for the people of Hawaii as well as our Hawaiian Monk Seal Ohana.
REAP’s messaging includes the following strong points. REAP will promote:
1. A harmonious coexistence between the Hawaiian monk seal and the State’s residents and visitors.
2. The ancestry and heritage of the Hawaiian monk seal and its unique importance in Hawaiian history.
3. The pleasure and richness Hawaiian monk seals bring to us and those that follow.
4. The Hawaiian monk seal and its home in the Hawaiian Islands.
“I’m excited about the possibilities that this grant funding will afford us. To think that we can actually go to the beaches at Ko Olina, Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Royal Hawaiian and the New Otani to educate residents, visitors, staff and lifeguards by sharing the lives of our Hawaiian Monk Seals through our “Talk Story” series will be a dream come true for me and this organization.
By providing well-needed equipment and materials, REAP will also allow us to expand on HMSPO’s amazingly successful in-classroom Hawaiian Monk Seal education program. Thanks to the efforts of Kathy Brown our Education Director, this program has reached over 20,000 students in the past 8 years and will continue to grow and evolve as we implement REAP strategies.” — Dana Jones, Exec. Director of HMSPO and REAP Project Manager
Ambassadors Needed! The backbone and stability of any non-profit organization are its volunteer or as it is defined…those individuals who freely offer their time to a cause. Moving forward, under the REAP program, we will no longer have volunteers but monk seal Ambassadors or “those individuals who act as a representative or promoter of a specified activity, cause or in this case, species, our beloved Hawaiian Monk Seals!” Our new Ambassadors will be introduced to monk seals through our “shadow” training program. They will receive in-depth, on-beach and/or in-classroom monk seal training, paper and on-line materials as well as share experiences that will ensure they are adequately prepared to carry out the mission, goals and objectives of the REAP program.
Ambassadors will be an integral and valued member of this exciting adventure and partnership team. If you want to be involved with a program that will change attitudes, spread appreciation, and embrace values for Hawaii’s #1 natural resource, the Hawaiian Monk Seal, the REAP program is your calling. You can sign up to assist with a variety of activities including in-classroom education, partnership outreach, beach talk story, website and social media development, community events and outreach, beach survey for HMS, fundraising, and so much more. Ambassadors will be dedicated to the recovery, protection and preservation of the Hawaiian Monk Seal and therefore dedicated to the success of this project. If you would like to be an HMSPO Ambassador, please contact Dana Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Look for REAP on a beach near you!
NOAA Reports Death of Young Hawaiian Monk Seal RL44/Nanea
(Released by NOAA – Last updated by Pacific Islands Regional Office on October 08, 2019) We are saddened to report that recently-weaned female Hawaiian monk seal pup RL44, also known as “Nanea,” was discovered dead on the North Shore of Oʻahu on the morning of September 24, 2019. The circumstances surrounding her death indicate that she did not die of natural causes. The case has been referred to NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement for investigation. Anyone with useful information should call (800) 853-1964.
RL44 was born at Paradise Cove, a popular recreational beach, on July 19, 2019. Hawaiʻi Marine Animal Response (HMAR) and NOAA Fisheries monitored her during her 6-week nursing period (a normal time frame for nursing monk seal pups). After she weaned, we decided to relocate her to a remote location on the North Shore. Our primary concern was that RL44 have the opportunity to interact with other monk seals, and not people, during an important time in her behavioral development. On the North Shore, she could grow up in the company of several other young, wild monk seals, with less likelihood of human disturbance and, more importantly, not becoming fixated on people.
Management decisions like translocating a seal are carefully weighed in a series of in-depth risk assessments. All decisions are ultimately made with seal and human safety as the primary concern. To reduce the threat of Nanea interacting with discarded fishing gear in her new location, the Hawaiʻi State Division of Aquatic Resources performed a sweep prior to translocation and removed line, nets, hooks, and other debris from the area.
On the day of her translocation everything went smoothly. NOAA staff members evaluated her status at the time of the translocation and had no concerns about her behavior or physical health. In the 4 weeks following translocation, HMAR volunteers closely monitored RL44 and it appeared the goal to get her close to other seals was incredibly successful. She was seen frequently socializing and playing with other seals in the area. Her smooth transition to her new home following the translocation and our hopes for her future were shattered by this tragic loss.
Auntie Nettie Tiffany, the kahu (keeper or custodian) of Lanikūhonua, adjacent to Nanea’s birth site, said that Nanea “… brought exactly what she seemed: peace for our water and our reefs for a period of time, so [they] had time to heal. Nanea brought peace to Milo Beach; that’s why I named her that.”
We will continue to provide updates as we receive information. We will continue engaging in dialogue about threats to monk seals and the challenges associated with managing and mitigating those threats. Additional Info: https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/10/08/hawaii-news/noaa-investigating-death-of-monk-seal-pup-found-on-oahus-north-shore/
NOAA Reports Death of Juvenile Male Hawaiian Monk Seal RK88/Kuokala
(Released by NOAA, PIFSC) Earlier this summer, NOAA reported the death of a yearling male Hawaiian monk seal, RK88, also known as Kuokala, after likely drowning in a lay gill net. He was found dead Aug. 21 at Camp Erdman at Kaena Point. Officials said post-mortem test results confirmed that RK88 was healthy at the time of death and there was no evidence of underlying disease or other health concerns. Necropsy results supported drowning in a lay gill net as the cause of death.
Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species protected by federal and state laws. Only an estimated 1,400 remain in the wild — about 1,100 in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and 300 in the main Hawaiian islands. NOAA encourages the public report illegal gill nets to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources hotline at (808) 643-DLNR (3567).
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