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The Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) is found on the sandy beaches and in the surrounding waters of the northwestern Hawaiian Archipelago. The Hawaiian monk seal, like the other monk seal species, is sensitive to human disturbance and habitat loss. (00006860)

Hawaiianische Moenchsrobbe/Hawaiian monk seal/Monachus schauinslandi        Hawaiian monk seal rests

Description: Hawaiianische Moenchsrobbe/Hawaiian monk seal/Monachus schauinslandi

Hawaiian monk seal rests at the beach of a Midway island

The Hawaiian monk seal is „a living fossile“ and appears as a myth. Some 60 Hawaiian monk seals live in Midway Atoll (2001). These animals – they live in the north west of the group of islands on remote and uninhabited islands – only exist here and nowhere else in the world. The seals reach a length of two meters and a weight between 200-300 kilograms. They nourish themselves from reef fishes, octupuses and lobsters, which they find in shallow waters. But they are also in the position of capturing their food in the open sea. The monk seals are exceptionally sensitive to human influences of any sort and are in danger of extinction.

There are three species of Monk Seals:

- Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi, estimated population approx. 1,000 animals)

- Caribbean Monk Seal (Monachus tropicalis, presumably extinct)

- Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus, estimated population approx. 300 to 400 animals).


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