Scientific Research and Enhancement Permit for Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions
On June 16, 2014, the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources issued scientific research and enhancement Permit No. 16632-00 [pdf] to the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program to carry out recovery actions on Hawaiian monk seals over a 5-year period. The permit has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act.
We determined that the activities authorized in the permit are consistent with the Preferred Alternative (Alternative 3: Limited Translocation) in the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Hawaiian monk seal Recovery Actions.
Summary of Permitted Activities
Permit No. 16632-00 authorizes the PIFSC Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program to carry out research and enhancement activities designed to conserve and recover the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Activities may occur on beaches and in nearshore waters throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands [NWHI] and main Hawaiian Islands [MHI]) and at Johnston Atoll. Activities may also occur on captive seals in facilities in the U.S.
Research is intended to identify impediments to recovery, inform the design of conservation interventions, and evaluate those measures. Research activities include:
- visual and photographic monitoring
- pelage bleach marking
- health screening
- foraging studies
- deworming research
- experimental translocation
- tissue sampling
- import/export of parts
- behavioral modification research
- vaccination research
Enhancement activities are designed to improve the survival and reproductive success of individual monk seals, with the intent to improve subpopulation and overall species' status. Enhancement activities include:
- treating injured seals in the wild
- hazing and removal of aggressive adult male seals that harm or kill other seals
- supplemental feeding of post-release rehabilitated seals in the NWHI only
- behavioral modification
- translocations, including:
- translocating nursing pups to birth or foster mothers to mitigate separation
- translocating seals to alleviate risk from imminent danger
- conducting two-stage translocations to improve survival of young seals (no weaned pups would be moved from the NWHI and released in the MHI as part of two-stage translocation)
On March 1, 2013, NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources published a notice of receipt of an application (78 FR 13863) submitted by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program for a 5-year scientific research and enhancement permit for carrying out recovery actions on Hawaiian monk seals. The permit was requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act.
The permit application was available for public review through April 15, 2013.
- Permit Application (File No. 16632)
- Appendices to Permit Application
- Appendix A: Two Stage Translocation Plan
- Appendix B: Take Tables
- Appendix C: Drugs for Use in Monk Seals
- Appendix D: Abscess and Antibiotic Protocols
- Appendix E: Epidemiology Sample Protocols
- Appendix F: Health Screening and Quarantine for Translocations
- Appendix G: Necropsy Protocols
- Appendix H: Non-target Species
- Appendix I: Qualifications of Personnel
- Appendix J: References
Updated: June 18, 2014