Monk Seals

  • The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are home to the Hawaiian monk seal, one of the most endangered marine mammals on the planet. No one knows why they are dying. Wild Chronicles and Crittercam® explore the depths these seals go to as they fight for survival.

    1. How many Hawaiian monk seals are alive today?

      Only about 1,300 Hawaiian monk seals remain in the wild.

    2. How many Hawaiian monk seal pups survive to their second birthday?

      Only about two out of every ten pups survive to adulthood.

    3. Most biologists thought that Hawaiian monk seals fed in the nearby coral reef. Is that what Crittercam showed?

      No. The seals traveled far outside the reef, including water so deep it was pitch black.

    4. Frank, the biologist, descends to the feeding grounds of the Hawaiian monk seal. What does he find there?

      Frank and other researchers are surprised to find a deep-water coral reef.

    5. How do Frank and other researchers know for sure that monk seals feed in this new-found coral reef?

      A Hawaiian monk seal swims directly in front of the window of their submersible.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    Crittercam Noun

    camera designed to be worn on a wild animal, providing a "critter-eye view" of the animal's environment.

    endangered species Noun

    organism threatened with extinction.

    Encyclopedic Entry: endangered species
    marine mammal Noun

    an animal that lives most of its life in the ocean but breathes air and gives birth to live young, such as whales and seals.

    monk seal Noun

    critically endangered species of marine mammal.