Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hawiian Monk Seal

The Hawaiian monk seal is the only seal endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, and is endangered, with only about 1,100 thought to be left.  They spend most of their lives in the water, but sometimes come out to rest for awhile on the beach.

While visiting Kauai I was pleased to see that the protection of these seals was taken very seriously.  When a seal was on the beach, a sign was placed noting that the seals are endangered and asking people to stay back.  On beaches with lifeguards, much of the lifeguard's effort was devoted to yelling at people to back off or leave the seal alone.

Hawaiian Nene

These endangered geese are endemic to Hawaii, though thought to be descended from Canada geese.  They are the world's rarest geese.  There are an estimated 2,500 left, found only on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawai'i.  This female was photographed on Kauai in December 2014.