Meet Hawaii’s Oldest Mammal

Aug 29, 2022 | General Information

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If you’d like to see what one of the original Hawaiian inhabitants looks like, take a look at the photo of the Monk Seal below! The original human Hawaiians arrived in Hawaii from the South Pacific Islands about 1600 years ago, the Monk Seal arrived in Hawaii about 4 million years ago. Along with the Hawaiian Hoary Bat they are the only indigenous mammals to come from Hawaii.

At one time these seals flourished in Hawaii but now they are on the endangered species list. Most of the 1100 or so population that is left lives in the northern stretch of the Hawaiian islands which are predominantly very small atolls that are uninhabited and very remote. These seals spend most of their time in the ocean but can also be found lounging on the white sand beaches baking in the tropical sun when they are not hunting or eating. They can occasionally be seen on the main Hawaiian Islands but rarely. Kauai and Niihau are their usual haunts but not exclusively as they are occasionally seen on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island too.