Recovery Plan for the Hawaiian Monk Seal
The goal of this revised recovery plan, published in 2007, is to assure the long-term viability of the Hawaiian monk seal in the wild, allowing initially for reclassification to threatened status and, ultimately, removal from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.
The Hawaiian monk seal was listed as an endangered species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act on November 23, 1976 (41 FR 51611) and remains listed as endangered. The species has a recovery priority number of one, based on the high magnitude of threats, the high recovery potential, and the potential for economic conflicts while implementing recovery actions. Based on recent counts, the current population is approximately 1200 individuals. Since the publication of the last Recovery Plan for Hawaiian monk seals over two decades ago (Gilmartin, 1983), much has been done to reduce the impact of many of the most direct, and obvious, causes of decline. Nonetheless, the present total population of the species is small and declining. The population is already so small as to be in the range where there is concern about long-term maintenance of genetic diversity.