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Rare monk seals doing well in Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this Sept. 27, 2015 photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, two endangered Hawaiian monk seals await medical treatment in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
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Researchers say the endangered Hawaiian monk seal is making a strong comeback in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Scientists documented 148 monk seal pups births in the Northwestern Hawaiian Inlands this year, an increase of 22 percent over 2014. That’s according to a statement released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A team of NOAA scientists spent the summer monitoring and assisting monk seals in the islands. They said some specific locations in the island chain saw 75 and 100 percent survival rates of pups that were weaned last year, the most improvement seen in the population in more than 25 years.

In addition to monitoring newborns, the team also conducted 49 life-saving interventions and brought seven malnourished monk seals back to Ke Kai Ola monk seal hospital for rehabilitation.

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