Monk seals in North Kohala prompt program
In response to recent monk seal sightings at beaches along the Kohala Coast, Marine Conservation Coordinator Justin Viezbicke will give a presentation on this highly endangered species at North Kohala Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 4.
“The Hawaiian monk seal is the most endangered seal species in the United States, with only an estimated 1,300 seals remaining,” said Viezbicke. “As many beach goers have recently discovered, some of these seals live right here on the Big Island. It is exciting, but also dangerous to encounter a monk seal at the beach.”
In the interest of safety for both humans and the seals, Viezbicke will discuss the basic biology of the monk seal, the pupping events on the Big Island, and the recent sightings in Kohala. He will also cover the threats currently affecting the seal population and how community members can get involved in the protection and conservation of the endangered seal.
Viezbicke is a marine conservation coordinator for the Division of Aquatic Resources / Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. He has recently been monitoring the activity of monk seal pups on the Big Island.
For additional information or to request a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation, please call North Kohala Public Library at 889-6655.