Application for Scientific Research and Enhancement on Hawaiian Monk Seals (File No. 16632)
The NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources has published 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 is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The permit application below is 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
Comments may be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, by:
- Email: email@example.com (please include "File No. 16632" in the subject line)
- Mail: Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, F/PR1, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910
- Fax: 301-713-0376
Summary of permit request
The PIFSC Hawaiian monk seal Research Program requests a 5-year permit to carry out research and enhancement activities designed to recover the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Activities would occur along beaches and nearshore waters throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands [NWHI] and main Hawaiian Islands [MHI]) and Johnston Atoll.
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 includes deworming, translocation, hazing and removal of aggressive adult male seals that harm or kill other seals, disentangling, dehooking, treating injured seals in the wild, behavioral modification, vaccination, and supplemental feeding of post-release rehabilitated seals.
Types of translocations proposed include:
- As warranted (estimated 20 pups/year), translocations of nursing pups to birth or foster mother to mitigate separation, throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago;
- As warranted (estimated 60 seals/year), translocations of weaned pups to alleviate risk such as from imminent danger, throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago;
- Up to 20 translocations of weaned pups and 30 juvenile/subadults per year as part of two-stage translocation for enhancement (no seals would be moved from the NWHI to the MHI as part of two-stage translocation); and
- Up to 6 translocations per year of juveniles/subadults/adults for research, throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago (e.g., moving nuisance animals from the MHI to the NWHI).
Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, NOAA Fisheries is preparing a Final Programmatic EIS for Hawaiian monk seal recovery actions. A Draft PEIS for Hawaiian monk seal recovery actions was made available to the public in 2011 (76 FR 51945). The intent of the PEIS is to evaluate the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on the human environment of the alternative approaches to implementing recovery actions, including research and enhancement activities requiring permits.
Updated: March 1, 2013