Posted: November 16, 2021

Sea turtle, monk seal assessment and recovery camps in the Monument

Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, and seabirds on the beach.
Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, and seabirds on the beach at Lalo, French Frigate Shoals. These animals often share the beaches in close proximity. Image: NOAA Fisheries

NOAA biologists have returned from monitoring and protecting Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles. There were two five-month-long field camps in Papahānaumokuākea this field season. These camps form the foundation of research and recovery efforts for threatened Hawaiian green sea turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seals in Papahānaumokuākea.

In their months in the field, NOAA biologists collected data critical for stock assessment. They also undertook numerous activities to aid in the recovery of the species and participated in several projects with partner agencies in Papahānaumokuākea.

At least 171 pups were born in Papahānaumokuākea this year, and field teams managed to tag at least 135 of them. They identified more than 1,000 individual turtles at Lalo, including 679 females on Tern Island.

Find out more: Challenges, Satisfaction, and Lots of Monk Seal Pups During 2021 Field Season.