The conservation charity Nature Picture Library have chosen to support this quarter is the Monk Seal Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal from extinction. With only 1,100 seals remaining, the species’ population is at a crucial tipping point. The donation will contribute towards the work of the monk seal response teams of trained volunteers who protect seals that have hauled out onto beaches to rest or pup and also engage in outreach and public awareness efforts to educate the community about monk seals.
The Hawaiian monk seal is the only seal species which lives year round in tropical waters. It is primarily a benthic or bottom-feeding species, able to dive to depths of more than 330m or 1000ft to forage. The main population lives in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, with much smaller numbers on the main Hawaiian islands. The main threats to the species are from entanglement in marine debris, disturbance and diminished food resources.
To find out more, view this new photo gallery on endangered seals, focussing not only on the Hawaiian and Mediterranean monk seals but also the world’s other endangered seal species. At the end of this quarter Nature Picture Library will make a donation to the Monk Seal Foundation from their sales revenue, and would like to thank all those who have licensed images from Nature Picture Library this year and thus enabled them to support this important conservation initiative.