From the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Sunday 1/15/12
Hawaii's endemic oceangoing mammals are being killed, and humanare to blame.
Federal and state fisheries officials suspect that encounters between humans and the estimated 200 Hawaiian monk seals in the main Hawaiian Islands led to the killing of 3 monk seals on Kauai and Molokai since November-and to suspicions that another monk seal found dead on Molokai also might have been killed intentionally.
A 2-3 year old 200-300 pound male had visible wounds to its head and a foreign object embedded in its scull.
The body was found in the same area where in 2009 a pregnant monk seal was shot and killed with a Browning 22-caliber rifle.
Not all problems are caused by humans, however, I am disturbed by the way humans kill these animals.
Although the Hawaiian monk seals are one coniguous species occurring all along the Hawaiian chain, the NWHI and MHI populations face different threats. In the NWHI the primary threats include food limtation for juveniles, shark predation on juveniles, entanglement in marine debris, adult male seal attacks on females and juveniles and shoreline habitat loss. Threats in the MHI include disease and human impacts inclding reacreatinal disturbance, fisheries interactions, habituation to humans and, even recently, intentional killings.