Species’ fate sealed

The extinction of Caribbean monk seals spurs conservationists to further protect marine animals

Environmentalists consider the extinction of a seal species a wake-up call to take swift action to protect remaining endangered seal populations and other marine life.

The National Marine Fisheries Service declared Caribbean monk seals extinct last month. In response, conservation groups such as Ocean Conservancy have vowed to save animals that are facing the effects of climate change and human encroachment.

At the top of the list is the Hawaiian monk seal (pictured), a critically endangered species. Rising sea levels attributed to global warming, plus discarded fishing gear that ensnare the animals have led to a precipitous decline in its population. Just 1,000 of the animals are reported to exist.