We Hardly Knew Ye: Caribbean Monk Seal Extinct
Humans hunting the docile creatures for research, food and blubber left the population unsustainable, say biologists who warn that Hawaiian and Mediterranean monk seals could be the next to go.
The last confirmed sighting of a Caribbean monk seal was in 1952 between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service confirmed Friday that the species is extinct.
Kyle Baker, a biologist for NOAA's Fisheries Service southeast region, said the species is the only seal to become extinct from human causes.
It is thought to be the first seal to become extinct caused only by humans.The Caribbean Monk Seal with it's official designation of extinction brings another milestone to species preservation. Part of the reason noted by the The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service (NOAAFS) for the extinction was 'research'.