- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 20, 2016

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - Federal scientists have released the final version of a plan to manage the monk seal population in the Hawaiian Islands.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the plan Friday, which is an offshoot of a 2007 recovery plan for the Hawaiian monk seal, The Garden Island reported (https://bit.ly/1nvo65O).

The newly released Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Management Plan outlines strategies for addressing the four main challenges affecting the recovery and management of the monk seal population. The challenges include infectious disease, human-seal interactions, habitat threats, and human dimensions.

The plan offers six strategies to address the challenges, which include engaging the community, responding to reported seal incidents and building program capacity.

“Most of the actions that are described in the management plan have been under development and in practice for a number of years,” said Jamie Thomton, Kauai’s island coordinator for NOAA. “Primarily, the management plan is to ensure the recovery of the species, and a coexistence with humans.”

The plan was several years in the making and is the result of collaboration between different agencies, stakeholders, and regular beachgoers, said Jeff Walters, wildlife management and conservation branch chief for NOAA.

“We’re willing to work with every community to find out what works for that particular community,” he said.


Information from: The Garden Island, https://thegardenisland.com/

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