Headlines – News – Articles
16th December, 2011

KP2 in captivity at Waikiki Aquarium

Media Watch, Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press, 15 December 2011

A nearly blind Hawaiian monk seal found years ago trying to suckle a rock at a Kauai beach after his mother abandoned him is settling into his new home at the Waikiki Aquarium.

Hoailona, also known as KP2, has been poking his snout into the corners and edges of the outdoor pool as he explores the new environment he moved into this week. [Continues]

Source: Hawaiian monk seal finds new home at aquarium, Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press, 15 December 2011.

2nd November, 2011

KP2 returns to Hawaii

Media Watch, San Jose Mercury News, 1 November 2011

Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft crew members, from Air Station Sacramento, along with biologists and veterinarians from the University of California Santa Cruz load a monk seal into a C-130 aircraft, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials, Coast Guard representatives and UCSC marine life specialists coordinated the seal transfer to the Waikiki Aquarium in Hawaii. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman David Flores.

A Hawaiian monk seal taken from Molokai after he was found to be nearly blind and interacting roughly with people returned to the islands Tuesday.

KP2 arrived on a Coast Guard flight from California, where he has spent the past two years at a university research lab. Scientists there were examining his eyes and studying his eating habits for research on monk seal metabolism.

The 205-pound seal, which was born on Kauai and briefly lived on Molokai, where he became famous for playing with people at Kaunakakai, will be under quarantine at the Waikiki Aquarium for four to six weeks.

He’ll then move to his new home in the aquarium’s monk seal pool where he will join one more seal on public display. [Continues]

Source: Hawaiian monk seal returns to islands from Calif., Audry McAvoy, Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News, 1 November 2011.

13th November, 2010

Save Our Seals

Media Watch, The Molokai Dispatch, 11 November 2010

With a dwindling Hawaiian monk seal population, federal officials are proposing a new plan to improve the survival of the endangered species. However, some Molokai fishermen say they are worried the plan could come at their expense.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is preparing a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for an action plan that seeks to relocate monk seals to Molokai and other islands.

The NFMS is considering moving recently-weaned female pups from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) to the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for three years. During this time, the seals would be released among wild pups and be monitored and studied before being returned to their respective islands. […]

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11th November, 2010

Monk seal KP2 thriving at University of California facility

Media Watch, Honolulu Star Bulletin, 11 November 2010

Question: Whatever happened to KP2, the nearly blind Hawaiian monk seal that was moved from Molokai by federal marine officials after becoming too familiar with humans?

Answer: The monk seal KP2 was taken to the Waikiki Aquarium in October 2009 and stayed there for a couple of months before being flown to a marine mammal research facility at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

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3rd June, 2010

Just published: Monachus Guardian June 2010

Just published: the June 2010 issue of The Monachus Guardian, the biannual journal focusing on the Mediterranean, Hawaiian and Caribbean monk seals.

This issue of The Monachus Guardian brings a special focus to the Mediterranean monk seals shot and dynamited in the Eastern Mediterranean since January. What is actually being done to eliminate the single most serious mortality threat confronting the species?


Editorial: An epidemic of killings.

Hawaiian News: Seal numbers continue to dive…

Mediterranean News: Greece: Alarming numbers of dead seals… Mauritania: Record births at Cabo Blanco… Turkey: Monk seal deaths in the Turkish Aegean… New population size assessment study in the NE Mediterranean…

Cover Story: Markos’ Case: Trauma, treatment, and reflections, by Emily Joseph.

In Focus I: Monk seal killed by dynamite blast in the Aegean, by Anastasia Miliou.

In Focus II: Nefeli’s rehabilitation: methods, results, and challenges, by Emily Joseph.

Perspectives: The world’s two remaining monk seal species: how many different ways are there of being Critically Endangered? by Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara.

Research: Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus, re-sighted along the Israeli coastline after more than half a century, by Aviad Scheinin, Oz Goffman, Mia Elasar and Dani Kerem…

Recent Publications.

The current and back issues of The Monachus Guardian are also available from the Monk Seal Library <http://www.monachus-guardian.org/library.htm>.

18th March, 2010

KP2 under study at University of California

Press Watch, UC Santa Cruz Press Release, March 18, 2010

Head trainer Beau Richter has Hō'ailona lie on a platform scale so researchers can weigh him. Photo by Terrie Williams.

A young Hawaiian monk seal that was removed from the wild last year for treatment and rehabilitation is providing researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a rare opportunity to study the physiology of this critically endangered species.

Ultimately, the information from these studies can be used to help monk seals in the wild, according to Terrie Williams, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, who is overseeing the research in coordination with the NOAA Fisheries Service’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, and other researchers.

“No one has ever had the opportunity to conduct these kinds of basic physiological studies with a tropical seal,” she said. “The monk seal population is in trouble, and we hope that these studies will help us to better understand their habitat requirements.”

→ Continue reading KP2 under study at University of California

23rd November, 2009

Monachus Guardian published

Just published: the November 2009 issue of The Monachus Guardian, the biannual electronic journal focusing on the Mediterranean, Hawaiian and Caribbean monk seals. The site can be accessed at http://www.monachus-guardian.org.

This issue features news and articles by some 30 authors from 13 countries from across the range of the genus, from Hawaii to Mauritania, Turkey to Spain, Madeira to Greece.


Guest Editorial: Monk seals and fisheries need attention, education and cooperation, by Trisha Kehaulani Watson.
International News: Quebec workshop builds Med-Pacific links, but will action ever follow?…

Hawaiian News: Short-lived freedom for KP2…

Mediterranean News: Greece: Orphaned, newborn monk seal rescued at Kefalonia… Madeira: Young seal chooses busy Funchal as home… Mauritania: Reaching the 50-pup mark at Cabo Blanco… Turkey: Monk seals monitored at Karaburun Peninsula…

Cover Story: Tracking Artemis: Making sense out of a young seal’s death, by Panagiotis Dendrinos & Emily Joseph.

In Focus I: Progressive re-colonization of monk seal resting and reproduction habitats as the result of strict protection, by Pablo Fernández de Larrinoa, Hamdi M’Barek, Moulaye Haye, Miguel Ángel Cedenilla, Mercedes Muñoz, Ana Maroto & Luis Mariano González.

In Focus II: Monk seal sightings in Italy move to the central Tyrrhenian sea, by Giulia Mo.

Perspectives I: Tackling the conflict between seals and fisheries in Greece: an end or a beginning? by Stella Adamantopoulou and Vangelis Paravas.

Perspectives II: Mallorca’s lone seal: the 2009 follow-up, by Antoni Font and Joan Mayol.

Letters to the Editor: Seals of Coincidence, by Professor Keith Ronald… and Mediterranean monk seal encounters – Dos and Don’ts, by Marianna Psaradellis…

Recent Publications.

The current and back issues of The Monachus Guardian are also available from the Monk Seal Library http://www.monachus-guardian.org/library.htm.

20th November, 2009

Molokai: Farewell to ‘unifying spirit’

Press Watch, The Maui News, November 19, 2009

Eight Molokai residents, federal marine fisheries officials and scientists said aloha to the beloved Molokai Hawaiian monk seal “KP2” at a blessing at the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu on Wednesday afternoon.

KP2, who captured the hearts of many on the Friendly Isle while he frolicked at Kaunakakai Wharf, will be soon heading to California to receive surgery for his cataracts. […]

Moving the nearly 2-year-old seal to Oahu angered some Molokai residents. They named him Hoailona, which means a special seal with a special purpose, said Molokai resident Walter Ritte. They wanted the seal that educated the people and played with their children to stay on Molokai.

Some residents complained that NOAA did not give them notice about moving KP2. But Schofield said there might have been a misunderstanding because NOAA officials notified the public about the move in July.

But on Wednesday, Schofield said scientists and residents came together and brought closure to the issue.

“They are in such trouble,” Schofield said of the Hawaiian monk seal. “We don’t have time to bicker.” […]

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