Monachus tropicalis has officially been declared extinct. Historically, the range of Caribbean monk seals was in the tropical waters of the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Greater and Lesser Antillies, around the Yucatan Penninsula, and around offshore islets and atolls. Currently, unconfirmed sightings are most common in Northern Haiti and North-east Jamaica. It is the only pinniped ever known to exist in the Caribbean region. The last recorded sighting of M. tropicalis in the United States was in 1932 off the coast of Texas and a small group was sighted on Seranilla Bank, between Honduras and Jamaica, in 1952.
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); neotropical (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native )
- Boyd, I., M. Stanfield. Oct. 1998. Circumstantial evidence for the presence of monk seals in the West Indies. Oryx, 32: 310-316.
- Debrot, A. Oct. 2000. A Review of Records of the Extinct W. Indian Monk Seal. Marine Mammal Science, 16 (4): 834-837.
- IUCN, 2008. "Monachus tropicalis" (On-line). 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed October 07, 2008 at http://redlist.org/details/13655.
- Knudsen, P. Oct. 1977. The Case of the Missing Monk Seal. Natural History, 86 (1): 78-83.