Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Protect the Hawaiian Monk Seal from extinction
Ilioholokauaua, better known as the Hawaiian Monk Seal, is facing near extinction as one of the most endangered marine animals on earth. Within the next five years, the Hawaiian Monk Seal population is expected to plummet to as few as 1,000 worldwide. Over 90% of the surviving Hawaiian Monk Seals reside in the waters near the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Sadly, researchers have discovered that these seals are emaciated, dying of starvation. Pups have only about a 1 in 5 chance of surviving into adulthood. Hawaiian Monk Seals face other threats to survival as well, including the danger of drowning in abandoned fishing gear, shark predation, and disease.
A portion of the population has migrated to the main islands, where they are thriving. This indicates a better supply of food and safer conditions for the species in this area. Migration is important for the survival of this species, as global warming also plays a role in their near extinction. Important beaches for raising pups are now under water due to rising sea levels. In fact, the northwestern islands are predicted to disappear under the water if sea levels continue to rise at the current rate, while the main islands, which exist at a higher elevation, are more protected from such dangers.
There are three types of monk seals altogether, including the Mediterranean Monk Seal, which is critically endangered, and the Caribbean Monk Seal, which hasn’t been seen in half a century, and was recently declared extinct. Protect the Hawaiian Monk Seal from the same fate by encouraging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect and preserve the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the seals’ natural habitat, and to designate a safe place for the Hawaiian Monk Seal on both the Northwestern and Main Hawaiian Islands.
Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Representatives,
Please take the steps necessary to protect the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals from extinction. These beautiful creatures are rapidly decreasing in population. There are little more than 1,000 of these seals left on the planet, and those surviving are suffering due to sea level changes and lack of adequate food, among other dangers.
The Hawaiian Monk Seals naturally inhabit the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, however these islands are slowly being swallowed up by the rising sea level, and seals living in this area have been found to be emaciated and weak due to starvation. Many seals are migrating to the Main Hawaiian Islands, which have proven to be much better suited for the seals’ survival. However this habitat needs to be preserved and monitored in order to ensure that the Hawaiian Monk Seal survives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: USFWS via Flickr