The Beacon

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An entire island and its endangered animals have been wiped off the map

Photo+courtesy+of+guardian.com
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Wiped out

Photo courtesy of guardian.com

Photo courtesy of guardian.com

Photo courtesy of guardian.com

Photo courtesy of guardian.com

Kayleigh Knott, Staff Writer

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East Island was an eleven acre island in the French Frigate Shoals which was a part of the Hawaiian islands. It was the second largest island in the French Frigate Shoals and home to the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the Hawaiian green sea turtle, and several species of seabirds.

A pacific hurricane swept over the island and rendered it destroyed. The disappearance of the island was first reported by Honolulu Civil Beat and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service followed up with the release of satellite photos before and after the hurricane.

As a result of Hurricane Walaka, seven researchers were forced to evacuate the small island. The fates of the endangered and threatened animals that were native to the island are still unknown. Prior to the hurricane, East Island was named the single most important nesting ground for turtles. Researchers determined that nineteen percent of the nests this year were swept away by the storm. The livelihood of monk seals, another endangered animal that lives on East Island, was also threatened by the storm. Out of the thirteen seals born there, it is said that only one was able to escape the storm surge. Researchers say they are in search of creative ways to help these species survive storms like Hurricane Walaka in the future.

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