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Hawaiian Monk Seal Conservation – Saving a Species

There are fewer than 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals left in the wild. With over 40 years of experience working with marine mammals, our efforts in Hawai‘i are critical to saving this endangered species.

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Hawaiian monk seals are an endangered species – there are only about 1,400 animals left. They are a rare sight and quite charismatic, but if you see a Hawaiian monk seal in the wild, it’s important that you keep your distance. They are negatively impacted by the presence of humans and since they are an endangered species, it is especially important for humans to give them space.

Keeping your distance is for their safety – and your safety!

Your tips for safe Hawaiian monk seal viewing:

  • Draw a line in the sand! Keep a large distance from seals on the beach or in the water.
  • Stay behind signs and ropes.
  • Use your zoom – no #sealfies allowed!
  • If the animal(s) is looking at you or has changed their behavior, you’re too close.
  • Spread the word - tell your friends and other onlookers why it’s important to keep their distance.

Our Work
The endangered Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest seal species in the world, and conservation efforts are critical to their survival. Through direct animal care, community outreach, education and response, our dedicated staff and volunteers in Hawai‘i are working to save a species. On Hawai‘i Island, we operate the only hospital dedicated to Hawaiian monk seals, Ke Kai Ola. Our team of experts relies on the Center’s many years of experience in marine mammal medicine and health to treat monk seals so they can be released back to the wild. Researchers estimate about 30 percent of Hawaiian monk seals are alive today directly due to conservation efforts. This life-saving work is possible thanks to support from compassionate people like you.

Our Mission
The Marine Mammal Center’s mission is to advance global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, veterinary science, and education. We work closely with our partners and people like you to conserve and protect endangered marine mammals like Hawaiian monk seals.

Click on the links below to learn more about the Center's efforts to save the Hawaiian monk seal

About the Hawaiian Monk Seal
Learn all about the Hawaiian monk seal, including its habitat, diet, and conservation status.
Hawaiian Monk Seal News
Read the latest news stories about the Hawaiian monk seal.
Current Patients
Find out about current patients at Ke Kai Ola or get information about our past patients that have already been released back to the wild.
Hawaii Educators
Learn about our middle school marine science program, Nā Kōkua o ke Kai, which is tailored to meet the unique needs of students in grades 6 through 8 and their teachers on Hawai’i Island.
Give Hawaiian monk seals a second chance in the world through a symbolic adoption.



Mahalo Nui Loa to our Sponsors and Supporters!

Disney Conservation Fund
George F. Jewett Foundation
Hawai`i Community Foundation
Hawai`i State Legislature
Hawai`i Tourism Authority
The Karakin Foundation
Kona Brewers Festival
Marisla Foundation
Minnesota Zoo Foundation
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Mahalo nui loa to our many other foundation, business, and individual supporters in Hawaii and off island. And special thanks to NOAA, the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Regional Office and the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Team for their critical support and partnership. We also are deeply grateful to the support and advice of our Ke Kai Ola Advisory Council.

Ke Kai Ola is a member of the Kuleana Green Businesses, a program which promotes ethical business practices and environmental stewardship throughout Hawai`i. Program members understand their kuleana (right and responsibility) to generate positive impacts in their social and natural environments. They set high standards of integrity, committment and respect in their engagement with employees, supporters, community, and the environment.

The Marine Mammal Center is honored to receive the Kuleana Green Business Designation. We are guided and inspired by a shared vision of a healthy ocean for marine mammals and humans alike, which means we are committed to sustainable business practices in all areas of our work, from the hospital’s water filtration systems to the products we use in our classroom programs.

You can make a difference to ensure the survival of the Hawaiian monk seal!
Consider a donation to save this endangered species.



For more information about our programs and how to be a supporter, please contact Jennifer Morrow at or 415-754-4033. Mailing address for Ke Kai Ola is:

Ke Kai Ola | The Marine Mammal Center
73-4460 Queen Ka’ahumanu Hwy, Ste 112
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

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