Monkseal mom and pup

The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world and resides throughout the Refuge. Other marine mammals include two species of dolphin, the Spinner and Bottlenose dolphins, the Sperm whale, a toothed whale, as well as four species of baleen whales (Mysticetes), the Humpback whale being the only mysticete sighted with any level of regularity.

  • Bottlenose Dolphin

    Bottlenose Dolphin 150x90

    The Refuge hosts pods of resident Bottlenose dolphins and the species is common throughout the archipelago.

  • Hawaiian Monk Seal

    Hawaiian monkseal

    Monk seals live in warm subtropical waters and spend two-thirds of their time at sea. They use waters surrounding atolls, islands, and areas farther offshore on reefs and submerged banks. When on land, monk seals breed and haul-out on sand, corals, and volcanic rock. Monk seals are often seen resting on beaches during the day. 

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  • Humpback Whale

    Humpback whales are migratory, so their presence within the Hawaiian archipelago is seasonal.

  • Sperm Whale

    These toothed whales are occasionally spotted within the archipelago.

  • Spinner Dolphin

    Spinner dolphin

    Spinner dolphins are best known for their above-water displays of leaping and spinning several times on their body axis. Leaps can often be done in a series with as many as 14 leaps in a row. 

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