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Hawaiian Monk Seal Pupping Season

March 14, 2024

The Hawaiian monk seal pupping season has started! NOAA Fisheries experts in the Pacific Islands work with partners to protect the pups during this critical time.

A Hawaiian monk seal pup lays in the sand A young, female Hawaiian monk seal pup, identified as "PM6," lying in the sand at Kalaupapa, Molokai in 2017. This is the fourth pup of mom "RI25." Credit: NOAA/Tracy Mercer (Permit #16632-02).

This is a special time of year in the Hawaiian Islands—it's pupping season for Hawaiian monk seals! March through August is peak pupping season, a critical time for these endangered seals that are only found in Hawaii. With 1,600 individuals in the population, each monk seal pup born represents hope and promise for this once-declining population to recover from the brink of extinction. 

Hawaiian monk seals face quite a few threats during pupping season, but our experts are here to help. In this episode, Tracy Mercer and Jamie Thomton—our Hawaiian monk seal research and stranding response experts—give a status update on some of the pups that have already been born this season. They share the logistics of working with a network of partners across the Hawaiian Islands to monitor and protect monk seals on busy public beaches. 

Last updated by Office of Communications on March 14, 2024

Hawaiian Monk Seal