Hawaiian monk seal populations have increased to a level not seen in more than two decades.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have announced that the endangered Hawaiian seal population has steadily increased over the past two years and is now surpassed a level not seen in more than two decades.
The population has been estimated to have grown by more than 100 since 2019, bringing the total to 1,570 seals. The species is endemic to Hawaii, which means they are not found anywhere else. They are mostly found on uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Michelle Barbieri, the lead scientist at NOAA’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, told AP News that the count shows that conservation efforts have been helping.
“We are out there ourselves and working with partners to conduct life-saving interventions for seals, prioritising females, which are going to go on to create the future generation of seals,” Barbieri said. “We’re starting to really see that continued payoff of intervening to save animals’ lives.”
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