Hawaiian Sea Life, Kauai
Favorite thing: Hawaiian Monk Seals are one of only two species of animals endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. They are high on the endangered species list with only 1,300 left in the world. It is an amazing site to catch a glimpse of one of these incredible animals but if you are lucky enough to encounter one of them on your trip please be advised that since they are on the endangered species list it is illegal to kill, capture, harass or disturb them. This means keep your distance. You should not approach a monk seal and are required by law to stay at least 100 feet away. If you are caught harassing a monk seal you may be fined up to $25,000 US and / or face up to 5 years in prison. Kauai is a great place to sneak a peek at one of these mighty sea creatures, that average 6 to 8 feet in length, but it’s estimated that only 40 live on the island. Monk Seals are often spotted at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, but you’re more likely to get a closer look at one of them on Poip’u Beach. There are a couple monk seals that come to nap on Poip’u Beach and volunteers are on hand to rope off the area surrounding the resting critter to ensure that visitors can view the seal from a regulated distance.
Favorite thing: Besides the Hawaiian Monk Seals, another animal that could possibly come ashore is the Green Sea Turtle. Similar to the seals, the sight of one does not disappoint. It is fairly common to encounter them in the water on diving or snorkelling trips. I was lucky to be at Poipu Beach near sunset as a turtle came ashore. It was roped off in similar fashion to the monk seals so that it would not be disturbed. Needless to say, Kauai is very rich and plant and animal life.
Favorite thing: Sealife is abundant at the Hawaiian Islands. One particularly special encounter possible is with the Hawaiian Monk Seal. They are a very endangered species, therefore it is illegal to disturb them or get too close to them. Occasionally, one will come ashore. When this happens, the area around the seal will be roped off by volunteers. It is easy to observe them beyond the barriers. I saw three on seperate occasions during a one week visit. Two sightings were at Poipu Beach, and one was just to the east of Poipu at a rocky area. It is nice to see conservation efforts in action.