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Midway Atoll NWR

Green Sea Turtles and Monk Seals

 

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Lagoon at Miidway Atoll

This is a shot of the Midway Lagoon where we went snorkling.  They also offered scuba diving on the coral reefs but the lagoon is so shallow that snorkling was enough for me. Laysan Albatross bathe in the lagoon, but there is no food.

Midway Atoll is said to have the most beautiful beaches in the world and they are almost devoid of people.  You see more Monk Seals than people.

Green Sea Turtle

The Green Sea Turtle in the Pacific is the only sea turtle that crawls up on the beach just to bask in the sun. We frequently saw these turtles. They are called Green Sea Turtles because they eat on algae and the flesh has a green color.  Unfortunately Turtle Soup is made from the flesh of these endangered turtles.

In others species of sea turtle  only the female crawls up on the beach  to lay eggs. We saw turtles on the beach and swimming in the lagoon every day in Midway. Visitors are asked to give them a wide berth.

Green Sea Turtles are reported to be making a come back in the Pacific. I have noticed that Turtle soup is no longer on the shelves of grocery stores. Please avoid buying or eating it if offered to you. There are plenty of good soups available which were made without killing endangered animals.  Enjoy them and save sea turtles so that some your  grandchildren can see one alive and thriving.

Pacific Green Sea Turtle

Monk Seals

Monk Seals are doing very poorly and are probably on their way to extinction. The main population of Monk Seal is on the island of French Frigate Shoals which is part of the Northwest Hawaiian chain of islands that includes Midway.

 

Monk Seal Midway Atoll
Monk Seal resting on beach

Here a Monk Seal rests on the beach in the sun. Researchers use chlorox to bleach numbers on the fur so they can be identified. Seals unlike sea turtles often rest on the beach or a rock in the sun.  They need to be left alone.  Most seals are not endangered like the Monk Seal.


Sign warns visitors to stay clear of seals.

The refuge on Midway does everything to protect the Monk Seals who make Midway their home. Here a sign warns visitors to stay off the beach where a seal is coming ashore. Notice the navy pier in the background. These piers allow visitors to walk, drive their golf cart, or ride their bicycles out into the lagoon. Spinner Dolphins can sometimes be seen from the piers.

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