Monday, November 17, 2008

Protect the Hawaiian Monk Seal!

I have my own personal reasons for wanting to protect the Hawaiian Monk Seal... Living in Hawaii all of my life I have been witness to these amazing and beautiful animals. As they play in the tides chasing after each other, or surfing a wave far out in the ocean... and even more often, basking in the sun to soak up the beautiful sunshine... but it has become fewer and fewer encounters in recent years.

My 9yo son wants to become a Marine Biologist
because of the Hawaiian Monk Seal! It breaks my heart to know that one species is gone forever (The Caribbean Monk Seal has been deemed extinct this month) and another may be gone within years... so quickly in fact, that my son may never have the chance to study and protect these and other marine animals in our Oceans.

Please take a stand and make a difference. Volunteer at a local beach cleanup and get garbage off of our beaches, make a donation, write a letter to your Representative, whatever it is you can do to help!

Our delicate eco-system needs you!

Will you please add your signature to this petition?

Me ke aloha pumehana... Keala

"Protect Habitat for Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals
Target: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Sponsored by:

The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. Its population has plummeted to about 1,200 animals, and scientists say it will likely drop below 1,000 seals within a few years.

But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been resistant to protecting critical habitat. Three-quarters of the islands designated for Hawaiian monk seal habitat could be underwater before the end of the century thanks to global warming. Less than 50 years ago, one of the seals' chief breeding and resting places covered more than 110 acres. Today, only about 40 acres are left.

As beaches disappear under rising seas, there are fewer safe places for the endangered seals to escape from sharks. As a result, more pups and juveniles are dying. Further loss of habitat can only put these endangered seals at greater risk.

Help prevent the extinction of the Hawaiian monk seal. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect critical habitat for this treasured part of Hawaii's natural heritage."

Heres what the petition is proposing:

We, the undersigned, are concerned for the future of the Hawaiian monk seal, the most endangered seal species in the United States. We urge that critical habitat in the Main Hawaiian Islands receive legal protection as critical habitat necessary for preventing the extinction of the Hawaiian monk seal. Critical habitat designation would ensure management that is consistent with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

Since the mid 1950s, the monk seal population has declined rapidly, with only about 1,200 animals remaining. The threats from limited food sources, shark predation, global warming and sea level rise, entanglement in marine debris, disease, habitat loss and disturbance, fisheries interactions, and pollution are driving this already small population to the brink of extinction.

The Hawaiian monk seal has had designated habitat in a marine national monument at a remote archipelago northwest of Hawaii since 2006. Unfortunately, three-quarters of the islands in that sanctuary could be underwater before the end of the century thanks to global warming.
While the current critical habitat is important for the protection of the Hawaiian monk seal, expanded habitat protection is absolutely essential for the recovery of thepopulation. The scientific consensus is that the Main Hawaiian Islands are the best opportunity for the recovery of the dwindling population of monk seals.

That is why we request amending the current Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat to include essential habitat areas along key beach areas, sand spits and islets, lagoon waters, inner reef waters, and ocean waters around each of the Main Hawaiian Islands. The potential for population growth, increased habitat and greater food availability in the Main Hawaiian Islands could be pivotal for the survival and recovery of the Hawaiian monk seal.

For more information on the current legal protection of the Hawaiian Monk Seal visit: