A seal with a dark back and pale underside, occurring in warm waters of the northern hemisphere.
- Genus Monachus, family Phocidae: two or three species, including the endangered M. monachus of the Mediterranean and adjacent seas.
- Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the Hawaiian monk seal has had some of its coastal habitat protected.
- Hawaii may have no native terrestrial mammals, but the islands do harbor one native aquatic mammal, the monk seal, and one native flying mammal, the hoary bat.
- Thanks to a courageous conservation project, the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal's future looks much brighter.
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