General Overview of the Four Species


Humpback Whale

Common name: Humpback whale
Scientific name: Megaptera novaengliae
Hawaiian name: Kohola
Population status: Endangered
Native status: Indigenous
Threats: whaling, driftnets & gillnets, habitat degradation, pollution
Legal Protection: ESA, MMPA, Hawaii Regulations, CITES/Appendix I

Hawaiian Monk Seal

Common name: Hawaiian monk seal
Scientific name: Monachus schauinslandi
Hawaiian name: Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua
Population status: Endangered
Native status: Endemic
Threats: hunting, habitat degradation, mobbing, driftnets & gillnets, pollution, sharks
Legal Protection: ESA, MMPA, Hawaii Guidelines, CITES/Appendix I

Green Sea Turtle

Common name: Green sea turtle (Hawaiian population)
Scientific name: Chelonia mydas (aggazizi)
Hawaiian name: Honu
Population status: Threatened
Native status: Endemic
Threats: Hunting, trade, egg poaching, coastal development, driftnets & gillnets, shrimp trawlers, habitat degradation/pollution, fibropapilloma
Legal Protection: ESA, CITES/Appendix I


Common names: Dolphins

Pacific Bottlenose

Scientific names:

Tursiops truncatus
Steno bredanensis
Stenella attenuata
Stenella longirostris

Hawaiian name: Nai’a
Population status: —
Native status: Indegenous
Threats: Purse-seining, driftnets & gillnets, hunting, habitat degradation, pollution
Legal Protection: MMPA, DPCIA, IDCA, ESA*, CITES/Appendix II

* Does not apply to species found in Hawaii