Crittercams and Crowdsourcing to Solve Mystery of Hawaiian Monk Seals?
What a surprise! One of the world’s rarest marine mammals—the Hawaiian monk seal—is setting up shop on the populated islands of Hawaii.
With a population that hovers around 1,100, most of the world’s silvery, seven-foot-long (two-meter-long) monk seals live on the uninhabited northwest Hawaiian Islands, in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. However some human competitors aren’t so baffled. Fishermen who grew up locally, in an environment without monk seals, now feel like they’re competing with the animals for the same resources, like octopuses and a fish locals call aholehole.
Instead of conducting a scientific study in the usual way—collecting data, analyzing the results, publishing findings— scientist wants to employ local middle and high school students to analyze the data for him in the hope if someone at a public meeting challenges the team’s findings, students from the community can vouch for the footage.
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