Hawaiian Monk Seals

Protect the Hawaiian monk seal; let sleeping seals lie!

If you are fortunate enough to see a seal on the beach or in the water, watch from a distance for your safety and their protection. It is not uncommon to share the surf with sea turtles or to share the beach with a monk seal. However, it is a privilege that comes with responsibility. Responsible wildlife viewing helps to ensure your safety and their protection and survival in the wild. While viewing monk seals, ensure your actions do not disturb the animals you are observing. Carefully observe all animals and leave the vicinity if you see possible signs of disturbance.

Download the Species Reporting Form, Endangered & Invasive Report Form to report Hawaiian Sea Turtle nests and Hawaiian Monk Seal sightings.

Hawaiian Name: ‘īlioholoikauaua which means “dog that runs through rough water”
Scientific name: Neomonachus schauinsladi

Hawaiian Monk Seal Pupping Season

February – August

Hawaiian Monk Seals are an endangered species of earless seal found only in the Hawaiian Island chain.

For more information:

  • It is natural for monk seals to come ashore or “haul out” on the beach for long periods of time.
  • Give seals the space and quiet they need to rest (50 feet); do not attempt to push them back into the water.
  • Roped-off areas on the beach are for your safety and their protection – do not enter
  • If approached by a seal on land, move away to avoid interaction.
  • In the ocean, monk seals may exhibit inquisitive behavior. Do not approach or attempt to play or swim with them. Cautiously exit the water.
  • Leashed pets are permitted on Bellows AFS from sunrise to sunset in outdoor spaces. See rules on our Pet Policy page.

Cautiously move away if you observe the following monk seal behaviors indicating it has been disturbed:

– Female attempting to shield a pup with her body or by her movements
– Vocalization (growling) or rapid movement away from the disturbance
– Sudden awakening from sleep on the beach

Report monk seal sightings to Bellows Air Force Station POCs:

– Security Forces/Law Enforcement (808) 448-4916 or (808) 259-4200.
– Environmental office (808) 448-4913 will notify NOAA NMFS (808) 220-7802