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Short Citation:
NMFS Office Of Protected Resources, 2023: Hawaiian Monk Seal (line),

Item Identification

Title: Hawaiian Monk Seal (line)
Publication Date: 2020-04-16

Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI): Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat in the terrestrial environments of Kauai, Lehua, Oahu, Maui Nui (including Kahoolawe, Lanai, Maui, Molokai), and Hawaii extends from the water's edge (mean lower low water line) inland 5 meters (in length) past the shoreline. The shoreline is described by the upper reaches of the wash of the waves, other than storm or seismic waves, at high tide during the season in which the highest wash of the waves occurs, usually evidenced by the edge of vegetation growth or the upper limit of debris.Areas ineligible for designation as critical habitat and areas that were excluded from critical habitat were clipped out of this dataset. The final rule (August 21, 2015 80 FR 50926) describes ineligible and excluded areas. Critical habitat does not include the following particular areas where they overlap with the locations described above: all cliffs and manmade structures, such as docks, seawalls, piers, fishponds, roads, pipelines, boat ramps, platforms, buildings, ramparts and pilings existing within the legal boundaries on September 21, 2015.


These data represent a subset of the terrestrial locations designated as critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal on August 21, 2015 (80 FR 50926). These lines should be used in conjunction with a separate polygon dataset (marine and terrestrial areas in the MHI and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands); together the lines and polygons represent the entire final critical habitat designation.


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ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: As Needed
Data Presentation Form: Map (digital)
Data Set Credit: CREDIT: Kim Maison (NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office) created the data with the help of Jean Higgins (NOAA Fisheries PIRO) and Tracy Wurth (NOAA PIFSC) based on input from the Monk Seal Critical Habitat Team. ORIGINATORS: NMFS Pacific Islands Region;

Support Roles

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 1082301
Date Effective From: 2020-04-16
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Molineaux, Jonathan
Address: 1315 East West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Email Address:
Phone: 301-427-8440


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 1082303
W° Bound: -160.102425
E° Bound: -154.812034
N° Bound: 22.229949
S° Bound: 18.910712

Spatial Information

Reference Systems

Reference System 1

CC ID: 1082298

Coordinate Reference System

CRS Type: Geographic 2D
EPSG Code: EPSG:4326
EPSG Name: WGS 84
See Full Coordinate Reference System Information

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Use Constraints:

These data do not officially represent the critical habitat designation. The official legal critical habitat designation can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (section 226.201).The appropriate uses for these data are for regulatory reasons, to determine where Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat has been designated. These data are not to be used for navigational purposes. NOAA makes no warranty regarding these data, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data, nor as a result of the failure of these data to function on a particular system.

Technical Environment


Version 6.2 (Build 9200) ; Esri ArcGIS


Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 1082295

Coastline locations designated as Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat (in addition to marine areas) were determined via a multi-step process. First, location data records from the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center were plotted as points. These data include sighting locations from 2007 - 2011, cell phone tag data, and aerial survey data from a survey completed in 2008. Five kilometer grid cell fishnets were created and placed over each island to create a standardized grid and a spatial join combined the location data with the grid cells. The attribute "Join Count" in that new grid file indicates how many location data points are within each grid cell. Based on expert opinion of the monk seal critical habitat team, it was determined that sites within any grid cell with a join count equalling 10% or more of the highest individual join count value for each island respectively would be considered to contain high use areas for inclusion in critical habitat. After isolating those grid cells, we used Google Earth imaging to refine the coastline areas within the grid cells to be included in critical habitat based on landscape features (i.e hardened shorelines or cliff faces were eliminated, continuous stretches of beach that were part inside and part outside of a grid cell were either included fully or eliminated, etc.). This was done with the help of an expert from the monk seal research program most famliar with the habitat use of seals at different locations around the MHI. The marine component and other portion of the terrestrial component of Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat is depcited in a seaprate polygon dataset.

Process Date/Time: 2015-08-21 00:00:00

Process Step 2

CC ID: 1082296

Lines were copied from Final_HMSCH_Terr_MHI_2015.shp into this feature class during the NMFS 2020 national critical habitat standardization project.

The data were processed to represent the final rule accurately. Minor edits (e.g., line removed around Kaula Island and lines removed around Niihau because they were deemed ineligible for designation in the final rule) were made to geometry in cases where the shapefile data did not represent the final CH designation. To support map service queries from this dataset, some line segments were dissolved to consolidate attributes. Note: there are inconsistencies in the final rule for Oahu between the line labels in the table (pg 50974) and the line labels on the map (pg 50984). The values for the Unit field in this feautre class were taken from the table (not the map).

Process Date/Time: 2020-04-16 00:00:00

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity SealHawaiianMonk_20150821_line

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 65317
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:65317
Metadata Record Created By: Jonathan Molineaux
Metadata Record Created: 2021-08-31 20:54+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-05-30 18:10+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2022-04-13
Owner Org: OPR
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2022-04-13
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2023-04-13