Wednesday, April 30, 2008

DB Post Wednesday April 30th

Ewa Girl&Pup, RIP, Sadie & an U/U@ RI& HB, Irma@ Irma's, Rocky@Waikiki
The day began with an U/U at Hanauma Bay. Unfortunately the animal caught me trying to get an ID, and immediately returned to the water. I HATE IT when that happens. My substantial gut says M&M, but I have no proof whatsoever.

Irma was at Irma's for the second consecutive day. This time in line with the Kealahou traffic light.

Tracy called at 1330 with the report of an animal in Waikiki. When I arrived at 1400 I found Rocky on a tiny piece of real estate behind the Castle Surf Condo. She had last been seen in Kalaeloa just day before yesterday. It looks like she's back in the SE quadrant neighborhood again. She made the KITV news !

The Rabbit Island cast was Ewa Girl and the pup, RIP, Sadie, and an U/U (possibly the sam HB animal ????? )

The Pup had quite a day. This was the first observed swim session . Ewa Girl could still rest on the bottom the the kid was definitely swimming around her. The session was just 4 minutes. The pup was nearly nonstop action today, constantly moving up and down from Mom's side to the water line. Mom could lay there and keep track, but when the kid got into the shore break she would move down to the water line. Their single swimming session was the only time Mom actually got in the water. The kid is definitely getting noticeably bigger, and is showing considerable independence. Mom definitely has her flippers full ! Aloha, DB

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

DB Post Tuesday April 29th

Ewa Girl& Pup, R301 & RIP@Rabbit Island, Irma@Irma's, KC@Mokuleia, 4-29-08
Ewa Girl and the Pup were at 2BS all day, and did virtually nothing all day. It was a cool, gray day, and the water lapping over them from time to time was all that was required. The did was active, circumnavigating Mom a few times, and there were 3 observed feeds, and lots of snoozin' .

R301 hauled out at 3BS mid morning, and remained there all day. RIP joined him around noon.

I found Irma at Irma's, 300 ft east of the Kealahou traffic light.

Joanna Tabor sent a shot from a friend of hers, which turned out to be KC (RK28) at Mokuleia. The girl looks ready to explode. Aloha, DB

OH MY!!!! Anyone want to give a guess on a date..... again lets hope for the best that KC goes to the marine base and has her pup!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monk Seal Response Network Meeting

NOAA is holding a Monk Seal Response Network Meeting which is OPEN to the public.

WHERE: Ala Moana Hotel - Carnation Room
WHEN: Wednesday June 11th 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday June 12th 8:30 AM - Noon
For more information please go to:

DB Post Monday April 28th

Ewa Girl & Pup, Mojo & Buster@Rabbit Island, Irma@Makapuu,& Rocky@ Nimitz Beach
Ewa Girl & Pup put in a cruise day at Rabbit Island today . They were once again at 2BS (2nd Blue Sign). Ewa Girl never went in the water but was right there at the water line. The kid went into the shore break a couple of times while Mom watched from 2 ft away. There were 2 observed feeds, and lots of nap time.

Tracy called with the report of an animal near the Makapuu parking lot. I found Irma lounging in one of her favorite tide pools. I checked this spot this morning at 0800 since it is a known Irma hangout, but there was nobody there at that time. There was no need to do anything . Signs etc. would only draw attention to her.

The highlight of the day came with a called from Barbara Billand at 1345. They were with Rocky (RH58) ( N11) over on Nimitz Beach at Kalaeloa. She was last sighted in that area on 8-25-07, also at Nimitz. Since then she has been a Diamond Head to Hanauma Bay girl.Only Rocky knows what the plan is... we shall see.

Tracy called at 1640 to report that RH44 has pupped at Kalaupapa , Molokai. RB08 has a new sibling. Lona is also there and ready to pop. Hopefully, the other Oahu girls will join her there. Aloha, DB

Sunday, April 27, 2008

DB Post Sunday April 27th

Ewa Girl & Pup (D#8)with Mojo,RIP& Buster@ Rabbit Island, plus a KP Report
Ewa Girl and pup put in another cruise day on RI. I observed 6 feeds and 2 water sessions in the shallows, with feeds and snoozes to follow. Mom was partially submerged for each session but the kid was at swim depth, and having a ball circumnavigating Mom.

Buster and Mojo were together at the left end of the beach. Mojo tried to get Buster to play but Buster's no response strategy paid off and Mojo got tired and calmed down to snooze mode.

RIP was by himself out on the rock flats left of the end of the beach. He moved over to join the other boys at 1425, and all 3 played in the water a bit. Mojo and Buster hauled out again, but RIP was a no show after that.

The Billands reported Ka'ena, T15M, R018 and Benny at Ka'ena Point today, and also said they'd met Karen Harris there. I have no photos as of this writing but I suspect something will be available later this evening . Aloha, DB

Saturday 4/26

What were they thinking??

I went out to visit DB this afternoon as this fiasco unfolded, I just want to say I am glad DB is watching over Mama & baby. I am also grateful that DB knows how to work the system to make the calls and document everything so that when DOCARE (Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement) arrives they can do their job.

I am certainly learning that even under the best circumstances, Ewa Girl and pup being out on Rabbit Island away from human intervention.... there are still risks... that all it takes is one mindless person to cross a line and there is potential disaster. Who knows what these people were thinking.... Honestly beyond the pup being in danger with a very large dog.... the island is a bird sanctuary with thousands of nests.... What was it about the large blue signs that read; NO LANDING, that they did not understand? I suppose we are grateful for everything that didn't happen.... But it sure would be nice to not live through the anxiety and waiting helplessly for it to all be over.

Now the most important of all..... mother and pup are looking great.... pup has grown in its 1st week and is certainly stronger.... moving around with ease... It's actually very funny watching it flop around with it's over sized fins... lifting its head calling out to mama.... And Ewa Girl, well she is one good Momma watching over her little one.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

DB Post Saturday April 26th

Ewa Girl & Pup, Plus a couple of Uknowns and 3 Idiots WITH DOG @ Rabbit Island,& RIP at Spitting Cave, 4-26-08
Ewa Girl & pup where happy and well at 2BS on Rabbit Island again to day. They spent most of the day near the water line, and did a one hour water session in the shallows. Mom was only partially submerged but the kid was swimming around Mom and having a ball. There were two other animals there today, but I could never get an ID on them, though one was smallish and probably Sadie, while the other was a medium sized , red tagged male, and Mojo would be my vote, though a scientific ID was impossible.

The low point of the day began when a female with her large, mixed breed dog, in a small (and illegal) dingy went out to Rabbit Island, towing two male surfers out also. They all hauled out on Rabbit Island near the 1BS (1st Blue Sign) and the males went off the surf. The female and dog remained on the island. Fortunately they were never near EG and pup. DOCARE Officers Lee, and Harrington busted them near Kaupo Beach Park when they returned. It worked out well , but had the making of a total disaster all along the way. That could have been an absolute nightmare. To anyone and everyone....The signs on Rabbit Island say"NO LANDING" and "NO LANDING means NO LANDING .... PERIOD !!!!

RIP spent the day at Spitting Cave, doing 7 minute dives.

Friday, April 25, 2008

DB Post Friday April 25th

Ewa Girl & Pup@ Rabbit Island + Mojo & Irma@ Spitting Cave, 4-25-08
My observation day was affected by crappy visibility (heavy VOG), an appointment, and afternoon rainy weather. On my initial check at 0700 I could make out Ewa Girl and the pup right where I'd left them yesterday, slightly right of 2BS (2nd Blue Sign).

I became involved in a search for an animal initially reported by a diver at Hanauma Bay, though checks of Hanauma Bay and Toilet Bowl were fruitless. I decided to check the Kokee flats (KK) and out at the end of the flats, found fisherman posse member , Kevin, who said he'd seen a animal in the water and that it had just departed as I was walking down the flats. Spitting Cave seemed like the next logical stop, so off I went, arriving at 1107. At 1110, Irma, her N3 bleach clearly visible, surfaced to the right of the big rock.

She had last been sighted at Oneula Place in Ewa Beach on 4-18-08. Obviously, she is back in the SE quadrant, and managed to get here without a Waikiki haul out. Thank You Irma !! I expect Sandy Beach or Irma's haul outs for the next few day, but only Irma knows.

When I got back for the afternoon Rabbit Island check, I could only see a partially visible Ewa Girl behind the water front rocks at 2BS. I didn't see the pup until 1220, since it was hidden behind the rocks. I observed a single water session, in the shallows, followed by a feed.

I also saw what would turn out to be Mojo. He was just another swimming head as he passed 2BS, but at 1220 he hauled out at the left end of the beach, and after seeing his top, left side of head natural bleach, tags and male belly, I knew it was Mojo.

My day was abruptedly ended by an approaching bout of heavy, black, rain and loss of visibility I got outta' there just ahead of the squall, at 1400.

State Mammal - Hawaiian Monk Seal

Just received a call from Georgette....
Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill yesterday .... and the House voted unanimously to pass the bill today.... We just need the Governor's signature and it is a done deal!


All the hard work, patience and passion paid off....

Effective July 1, 2008 ... Hawaii State Mammal is the Hawaiian Monk Seal!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy Birthday R-BOB Baby Girl

Here is our birthday girl ... One year old R-BOB (actually RB08)... She is a beauty and managed to find her way over to Oahu from Molokai... I'm glad she's here... I look forward to many many years and watching her family grow!

DB Post Thursday April 24th

Ewa Girl & Pup (D#5), Mojo,RIP & R301@ Rabbit Island, 4-24-08
Ewa Girl and the Pup once again spent the day in the 2BS (2nd Blue Sign) area, where they have been since the beginning. They were quite as active as yesterday. I observed no water training, but she did move down to the water line at mid morning and spent the entire day there. The kid was wet nearly all day just playing around Mom. The kid did venture out on little exploration forays occasionally. Managing to get as far away as 10 ft, before EG would call it back. I observed 6 feeding episode, and the kid was pretty active all day, when not snoozing or eating.

They shared the island with RIP, Mojo, and R301. They didn't do much either.

Today is RB08's (R-BOB's) 1st Birthday

So we have another birthday to celebrate! R-Bob is the little girl that was playing at Kailua Beach back in January when Chester was going through his molt. A privileged few not only saw her playing in the water with a puffer fish.... there were a couple of people next to her as she was being the youngster that she is....
Overall it is so wonderful to be celebrating another birthday! (donna)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

DB Post Wednesday April 23rd

A Rabbit Island Day
Rabbit Island was once again the only action in my life. The cast included, RIP, Mojo, R301, M38 and RB08.

The real star of course were Ewa Girl and her pup. They began the day , once again, near the water line, 50 ft left of 2BS. I observed 4 separate feeding episodes throught the day. With her previous two kids, D#4 was the beginning of water training, and today was no exception. The area she used was a bit protected by still subject to shore break and tidal change. The did 4 separate sessions. Each happened in relatively shallow water, which only allowed Ewa Girl to be half submerged but the kid ranged from galumphing in shallows to swimming in 1 ft. of water. It also got rolled up the beach many times by the shore break, but was having a ball and headed right back down into the water. Mom was communicating at all times. She also had the kid haul out ahead of her, and then would call it back to the water, In between workouts, there was lots of eating and snoozing. During the course of all those sessions, they managed to move to the right 30 ft, and then ended the day at Left Middle Cliff, which is approximately 70 ft right of the starting point this morning. She seems to be right on schedule in training. Aloha, DB

Another Photo of a Seal Pup

Here's another photo of a monk seal pup about the age of Ewa Girl's baby.... I can't get enough of seeing these pics.... So enjoy everyone and as soon as there are photos of our newest pup on Rabbit Island I will post...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

DB Post Tuesday April 22nd

Ewa Girl&Pup@Rabbit Island + more, RIP & Mojo@ Spitting Cave
Day #3 for Ewa Girl and pup was routine in every way. I found them at 0657, already doing a feed, which was the first of 6 that I would observe during the day. There were the usual up's and down's to cool off, and at 1245 the first water session occurred, lasting just 3 minutes, but Mom got the kid into 1 foot of water, and the pup flailed around a bit. They then moved back up, with Mom leading the way and making the pup traverse some rocks and 10 ft. of beach incline, which was a formidable workout, with a much deserved feed at the end of the journey.

In addition the the family, Buster, Mojo, M38, R301 and Sadie were also there. Of that mob the most interesting was Mojo, whom I'd seen at Spitting Cave at 0740, and then again at 1008 at Rabbit Island.

The Boehm Clan is to be congratulated for having pulled off a miracle and actually getting a couple of shots through my spotting scope. Aloha, DB

EWA-GIRL and Baby!!

Just when we thought it couldn't happen, lo-and-behold here is a picture of Ewa-Girl and her baby. The picture is a little blurry but you can see baby is nursing and at 3 days old is doing great! A HUGE MAHALO TO PATRICIA AND HER SON-IN-LAW.

Monday, April 21, 2008

DB Post Monday April 21st

Ewa Girl & Pup, RIP, Mojo, Buster and R301 @ Rabbit Island
RIP , Mojo , Buster and R301 were all spread up and down the Rabbit Island beach, but the two most important cast members, Ewa Girl and pup, where the highlight of the day. Today's behaviour was routine D#2 in every respect. The first couple of feeding attempts were nonproductive, but the kid caught on eventually, and I saw 3 solid feeding episodes, with a couple more "grazing" episodes, of just a few seconds, since the belly was right there. Ewa Girl worked the kid as I've seen her do with her other pups. She had the kid traverse small rock areas, and climb a 10 ft sand incline to get to her. I saw definite improvement in strength and coordination, and a couple of exploring on it's own episodes in the immediate area. It was a good day. Aloha, DB

Baby Hawaiian Monk Seal

This is NOT Ewa Girl and her pup.... but I know everyone would like to know what the baby would look like, so I thought posting this picture would give you all an idea of what Ewa Girl's little one looks like right about now.

Pretty darn cute if you ask me... I did have an opportunity to see Mom and baby through a field scope and I was amazed as to how much the little one moves around. Apparently Mom keeps her pup moving to build up strength, so from day 1 the little bugger is moving in and out of the water and up and down the beach.... Mom very carefully calls to the pup when "he" slows down.

I said it before and I will say it again MOTHER NATURE AT HER ABSOLUTE BEST!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

DB Post Sunday April 20th

Ewa Girl w/New Pup, plus More @ Rabbit Island, RIP@ Spitting Cave, & The Billands Ka'ena Point Cast
The day began at 0618 with Ewa Girl and her brand new , D#1 pup, at Rabbit lsland. I look forward to an interesting 7 weeks, watching the process once again. Naturally it was the highlight of the day. In addition to those two, Buster, M38, RB08, Sadie and R301 were also there.

RIP was doing 7 minute dives at SC today.

The Billands scored at Ka'ena Point today, finding Ka'ena, T15M, 2AU and 4DJ. Thank you Bob for all the shots but especially attempting the impossible task of getting a Rabbit Island shot from 8/10th of a mile away.

April 20th 2008 Ewa Girl gives birth!

We have a baby!!!
Born sometime early morning before 6:18 AM Ewa Girl gave birth to a pup on Rabbit Island. Initial reports mother and baby are doing great.
Best news they are on Rabbit Island and out of harms way!
Details to follow later and there MIGHT be a photo following sometime this evening or tomorrow!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

DB Post Saturday April 19th Annual Seal Count!

Today was the Great Monk Seal Hunt of 08. Reports of the total count will be coming in over the weekend a better feel of the overall numbers will be out by the beginning of the work week , no doubt.

The Zone #12 Mob, had a pretty good day I think, with 5 animals on Rabbit Island and 1 foraging at Spitting Cave.

R301 ,a male, was foraging at Spitting Cave, and the Rabbit Island cast included, Ewa Girl , the 1 y.o. girls RB08 and Sadie, Buster, a 3 y.o. male (and Sadies older brother), and RM38 , an adult male.

Though there are no photos from today, I've attached a few shots of each, from previous days. Aloha, DB

Friday, April 18, 2008

DB Post Friday April 18th

Buster@Spitting Cave, Irma@ Ewa Beach & Ewa Girl@ Rabbit Island,, 4-18-08
At 0646 I found that Ewa Girl had made her way to Rabbit Island. This is a very good sign that she is there for a reason . We shall see !

Buster was once again at Spitting Cave , doing 7 minute dives.

Shawn reported Irma at Ewa Beach, at Oneula Place. Mary Frances confirmed the ID, and also advised that she had been run off at 1020 by 4 teenagers with some kind of rifle (air rifle ?) She tried to run them down, but they got away. I called DOCARE, but was advised that there wouldn't be an officer available until after 1500. Pathetic !!! Aloha, DB

okay... if anyone has noticed DB has referenced Ewa Girl in the last couple days getting ready to settle in and have a baby.... I personally hope she stays put on Rabbit Island so she is safe and quiet..... BUT HOW COOL IS THIS..... A BABY!

Conference Committee Rules On SB2464

We are one step closer naming the Hawaiian Monk Seal the State Mammal!
Mahalo to all the volunteers!
Mahalo to our State Legislatures for listening to our testimony and taking action!

The Conference committee recommends that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes of the Senate Conference Managers were as follows: 3 Aye(s): Senator(s) Fukunaga, Espero, Slom; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 0 Excused: none.
The Conference Committee recommends that the measure be Passed, with Amendments. The votes were as follows: 3 Ayes: Representative(s) Ito, Yamane, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; 0 Noes: none; and 0 Excused: none.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Conference Committee Scheduled

Aloha Good People;

Friday April 18th at 1:00 PM
State House Room 414

The conference committee is meeting on the Hawaiian Monk Seal Day and State Mammal designation. This meeting is open to the public HOWEVER, the public will not be to speak. as we have learned any presence in support shows how serious we are.... but once again this is short notice.

If you can not be there then please send all your good positive energy for our seals.
I will keep you posted as I receive any new information!

DB Post Thursday April 17th

Ewa Girl@ Hanauma Bay,, 4-17-08
After a 3 day feeding foray at Spitting Cave, Buster returned to Rabbit Island for a rest. He and Mojo spent the day at the left end of the RI beach. On one of many pans of the beach front, I realized at 1318 that one of the rocks in the mid Middle Cliff area was a critter. It would prove to be RB08.

The highlight of the day was a call from Betty at Hanauma Bay, reporting an animal on the left side rock flats, at 1110. When I arrived at 1130 I found that it was Ewa Girl ! She was last at Hanauma Bay on 3-9-08, an absence of 38 days. During that absence she had been seen on a regular basis from Iroquois Point, to Campbell Industrial Park.

Her Hanauma Bay haul out prior to that had been on 2-23-08, for a single day. She went right back to the Iroquois Pt to Campbell's area again.

Last Wednesday, (3-9-08), she'd been sighted by a diver on the town side of the Reef Runway. I thought then that this might signify a return to this side, but I expected her sooner.

Does today's haul out at Hanauma Bay signify a return to the SE quadrant and Rabbit Island of a birth next week ? (My dollar is on the 25th) ONLY Ewa Girl Knows !!! Aloha, DB

Hawaiian Monk Seal Count Instructions & Data Collection

General Instructions for the Seal Count

To: Interested Participants
From: NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Office

Re: Bi-Annual Community Hawaiian Monk Seal Count

Mahalo for your interest in the Semi-annual Hawaiian Monk Seal Count. The Hawaiian Monk Seal Count was first established on April 28, 2007, with the future goal to have two, community-based counts per year: one in April and one in October. These dates are arranged in order to count monk seals at both the beginning and the end of the presumed pupping season in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). By October, most monk seal pups have been born. However, NMFS is seeing a rise in the number of pups born outside this presumed pupping season, and at some point in the future, we will likely see more puppings throughout the year, just as in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.

The purpose of the Count is to:
• encourage community involvement with Hawaiian monk seals
• raise public awareness
• build response network capacity
• gather minimum population number information for continuing research of
Hawaiian monk seal habitat use in the MHI

All marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Those species that are in danger of extinction are also protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as in the case of the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal. In both regulations above, it is important that the community effort of counting monk seals does not inadvertently harass them. It is illegal to harass monk seals which can be defined as altering or changing the animal’s behavior. Those engaged in the Count must follow a few simple guidelines. One suggestion is to stay at a minimum of 150 feet (ft) away from a monk seal. A good rule is the “rule of thumb.” If you place your thumb at arms length and parallel to the ground, the average-sized, adult monk seal placed in the area between the tip of your thumb and the first knuckle will be located at about 150 ft away. In some cases, this is not possible as the terrain of beach may prevent this. It is best to ensure that you change your route to cause no disturbance to monk seals.

By disturbance we mean the seal should not acknowledge you at all, which may include but are not limited to the following responses:
• looking at you
• lifting its head
• vocalizing
• retreating to the water
• otherwise changing its behavior

If a response from a monk seal occurs, you must provide a full description on your report form and notify your Island Coordinator immediately. There are only about 80-100 seals in the MHI, and the possibility of seeing a monk seal is remote. However, by having participants on the each from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. should provide the best effort for and opportunity of seeing the monk seals, especially since this is a common period for monk seals to haul out on beached. Monk seals will generally haul out between sunrise and the late morning, and rest throughout the day, returning to the water in the early evening.

In any event, your effort and participation are vitally important. In the past, Hawaiian Monk Seal Counts have discovered a new pup on Kauai, identified new places where seals reside, expanded our volunteer program and raised public awareness. Spreading the word about the critically endangered status of the Hawaiian monk seal and working to change public perception are as valuable as seeing a monk seal.

Good luck and Mahalo

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

DB Post Wednesday April 16th

Buster@Spitting Cave, 2AU@ Pray For Sex,, 4-16-08
The Rabbit Island gang included RB08, Sadie, Mojo and M38. For the 3rd consecutive day I found Buster at Spitting Cave, doing 7 minute dives.

The Billands reported 2AU at the Pray For Sex end of Makua Beach.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DB Post Tuesday April 15th

Buster@ Spitting Cave, Irma@Ewa Beach,, 4-15-08
The Rabbit Island cast was RM38, and Sadie. I found Buster doing 7 minute dives at Spitting Cave, for the 2nd consecutive day.

A 1724 call from Mary Frances in Ewa Beach reported Irma on the beach in the Parrish Loop area. She also reported having seen a small animal on the Yokahama side trail to Ka'ena Point. I have no photos yet, but that is a known hang out of Ka'ena . We shall see. Aloha, DB

Monday, April 14, 2008

DB Post Monday April 14th

Benny@Pray For Sex, Kermit@ White Plains, BG & R038@ Ka'ena Point,, , 4-14-08
The Rabbit Island gang included M38, Sadie , and R301. Buster was doing 6 minute dives at Spitting Cave.

The Billands found Benny , once again, at the Pray For Sex end of Makua Beach on the westside.

The White Plains lifeguards reported Kermit on the beach there, and a beach user reported to them that there was another animal further down the beach beyond the campgrounds. My guess would be Irma, but I have no confirmation of any ID.

Tracy called in the afternoon after a trip to Ka'ena Point. She had seen T15M there, and had also seen and bleached BG, and RO38. BG got an "N1" on the right mid body, and a partial girdle, and RO38 got an "N17" on the right side, mid body. Aloha, DB

Hawaiian Monk Seal day Proclamation

Looks Good, But this only applies to this years annual Hawaiian Monk Seal Count.
Aloha Good People: Please click on the image to read this proclamation signed by the governor! One small step.... at a time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

DB Post Sunday April 13th

Irma@White Plains, Kermit@ Kalaeloa Beach, T15M & Benny@Pray For Sex (Makua Beach),, 4-13-08

Buster and little sister Sadie, had Rabbit Island all to themselves today.

The Billands had a productive day. Barbara called at 1120 to report that T15M, and Benny were at th Pray For Sex end of Makua Beach on the west side.

They called again at 1543 to report that they'd found Kermit near the Wind Sock on Kalaeloa Beach.

White Plains lifeguards reported that Irma hauled out there at 1524.