Expand Protections for Hawaiian Monk Seals

Endangered Hawaiian monk seals, known to native Hawaiians as ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, or "dog that runs in rough water," today face dangers far greater than choppy waves.

In the past few decades, limited food availability, entanglement in fishing gear, predation and disease have driven the monk seal to within an inch of extinction -- only an estimated 1,000 seals remain.

For monk seal pups in northwest Hawaii, the chances of surviving to adulthood are bleak.

To save monk seals, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned under the Endangered Species Act for protected habitat for seals on the main Hawaiian Islands. Now the government has proposed protections for more than 7 million square acres of land and ocean.

These protections will ensure that monk seals have a place to thrive and will protect Hawaii's beaches for surfers, anglers and all who love the ocean.

Take action today to support this critical habitat proposal.
To the National Marine Fisheries Service:

I support the Fisheries Service's proposal to expand critical habitat protections for the Hawaiian monk seal.

[Your comments will be added here]

It's important to update critical habitat to reflect the coastal and marine areas that Hawaiian monk seals are using and need for their conservation and recovery. Monk seals need protected habitat on the main Hawaiian Islands as well as the waters where they forage. These seals are a valuable part of the marine ecosystem and an important part of Hawaii's natural heritage. All of the habitat we protect for the monk seal also protects the coastal environment for local human communities that depend on healthy beaches and oceans for their livelihoods.

The proposed critical habitat rule should be finalized to ensure management and protection of those areas essential for the survival and recovery of Hawaiian monk seals.
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