Hawaiian Name: Ilio holo ikauaua
Scientific Name: Monachus schauinslandi
Most Hawaiian Monk Seals live in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, but a small number can be found on the main islands.
Hawaiian Monk Seals live up to 30 years and grow up to 7 feet & 500 pounds. Their diet consists of fish and invertebrates. They will dive to depths of 500+ feet for up to 20 minutes for food.
Today, fewer than 1200 Hawaiian Monk Seals exist in the wild.
Hawaiian Monk Seals are one of three species of monk seals. The Caribbean Monk Seal became extinct in the 1950’s and there are only a few hundred of the Mediterranean Monk Seal left today.
Hawaiian Monk Seal population has declined more than 60% in the past 50 years, due to limited food supply (overfishing, competition), entanglement in debris, shark predation, pup mortality and climate change. Pup mortality has decreased from 80-90% in the 1970’s to lower than 15% today.