Part of the excitement and joy of taking a raft tour on Kauai is seeing the incredible plant and wildlife. One creature you may spot is the Hawaiian monk seal. Since it’s a rare sight, here’s more about this intriguing mammal so that you can truly appreciate them if you’re lucky enough to spot one.
4 Facts About the Hawaiian Monk Seal
1. They’re the Oldest Seal
The monk seal is believed to be the original species of seal, predating all others found around the world. They have populated the area around the Hawaiian Islands for over 10 million years. Although most seals live in cold water, this creature enjoys the warm temperatures of Hawaii’s northern islands.
2. They’re Heavy
They can weigh more than 600 pounds and grow to up to seven and a half feet in length. These seals primarily eat fish, crab, and squid, and this healthy diet allows them to live 25 to 30 years in the wild. Hawaiian monk seals eat less than others and enjoy their hunting grounds in the coral reefs of Hawaii.
3. They Prefer Solitude
The Hawaiian monk seal gets its name because the species prefers to live in solitude and the loose skin around their neck resembles a monk’s cowl. These creatures spend most of their time in the ocean but will rest on the beaches. If you see a monk seal on the beach, respect its solitude, and leave it alone.
4. They’re Endangered
The monk seal’s small and declining population have placed it on the endangered species list, and there are only 1,100 in existence today. Their numbers are reduced by entanglement in fishing nets, sharks, disease, reduced habitat, climate change, and food scarcity. To help this species survive, maintain their habitat by not littering on the beach and taking trash with you after a raft tour.
If you want to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures, contact the crew at Na Pali Riders Raft Tours in Waimea, HI. For over 25 years, these professional tour guides have provided Kauai kamaaina and visitors with exciting aquatic excursions so that they can see the island’s natural beauty up close. They’ll take you up and down 17-miles of the Na Pali Coast and share their knowledge of the sea and land as they steer. View a gallery of their past adventures online, or call (808) 742-6331 to make a reservation.