Species in the Spotlight: Priority Actions 2021-2025, Hawaiian Monk Seal
The Species in the Spotlight initiative is a concerted agency-wide effort to spotlight and save endangered marine species most at-risk of extinction in the near future. This plan focuses on priority actions needed in 2021-2025 for the Hawaiian monk seal.
In 2015, NOAA Fisheries launched the Species in the Spotlight initiative to provide immediate, targeted efforts to halt declines and stabilize populations of the species most at-risk of extinction in the near future. The priority action plans are part of a strategy to focus resources within and outside of NOAA, guide agency actions where we have discretion to make investments, increase public awareness and support for these species, and expand partnerships. The 2021-2025 Priority Action Plans outline actions that are needed in the next 5 years to address the most urgent threats to the species.
The Hawaiian monk seal is one of NOAA Fisheries' Species in the Spotlight because there are only about 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals left in the world, and they are just beginning to show signs of recovery after at least 60 years of steep population decline. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered pinnipeds in the world, and the last surviving species in its genus. Hawaiian monk seals occur only in the Hawaiian Islands Archipelago, which stretches 1,500 miles from Hawaii Island to Kure Atoll. Hawaiian monk seals are the only marine mammal species whose recovery and management falls entirely under the jurisdiction of the United States.