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Ocean Today. Hawaiian monk seals
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Ocean Today. Hawaiian monk seals
  • Corporate Authors:
    National Geographic Society (U.S.) ; United States, National Marine Fisheries Service, ; United States, National Ocean Service, ; ... More ▼
  • Description:
    The video is part of the Ocean Today educational video collection (sub-collection: Marine life). It has open captions and can be viewed in regular (640 x 36) or high resolution (1280 x 720). Video's transcript: "NARRATOR: Hawaii is a lush tropical paradise. Vacationers dive and snorkel along beautiful coral reefs and sun themselves on white sand beaches. If you go, you might find an unlikely beach buddy - the Hawaiian monk seal. Monk seal is a strange name for such a playful creature - but a roll of fat atop their round heads give the appearance of a hood - just like a monk wears. Adult monk seals are dark gray to brown on their back and silver to tan on their stomachs. They grow up to 7 feet in length and weigh between 400 and 600 pounds. But sadly, the Hawaiian monk seal is in crisis. Biologists estimate the current population between 1,100 and 1,200 individuals. Even though monk seals are great hunters, very low survival rates of juveniles is believed to be related to declining levels of food. Monk seals also face significant threats from human interactions; entanglement in fishing gear; and predatory Galapogos sharks at the seal's largest breeding site in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Unless the number of young females increases, it is feared that there will not be enough reproductive monk seals in the population for recovery to occur. NOAA scientists are using high-tech gear like satellites, cell phones, and Critter Cams to learn more about the habits of monk seals so they can better protect them. They've learned that monk seals feed in waters as deep as 1,600 feet - not just on coral reefs like previously thought. NOAA continues its work to reduce and remove marine debris from monk seals and their habitat, and has established a health care initiative for juvenile females to increase their chances of surviving to reproductive age. All in the hopes of restoring the population of Hawaii's State Mammal to a healthy and sustainable level. 'Help us help them'."

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