When I created a poster for NOAA in 2007 commemorating the launch of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery program, there were 1200 monk seals remaining. Today there are 900. And now this: two monk seals have been killed on Molokai and a third found dead, and activist Walter Ritte, a long-time community activist on Molokai, reveals that:
"The elders are saying that these monk seals are not Hawaiian. Our young people are calling these seals an invasive species brought in by government. The seals are now the easy targets of blame for the many ills of our depleting fisheries. We need to stand up for the truth: These seals are not only Hawaiian, but have been here longer than the Hawaiians."
In addition, Republican Representative Cynthia Thielan has taken a stand against protecting the species: http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2011/12/05/14137-thielen-takes-stand-against-added-protections-for-hawaii-monk-seal/
Auwe, Thielan. I thought you were cool. No more. Once these creatures are gone, they are gone.