Balmy temperatures can lead to conditions perfect for the spread of infectious diseases, Sanderson said. When sea ice melts too early in the season, seal pups must enter the water before they are ready to be weaned, leaving them weaker and more vulnerable to disease. Vanishing sea ice also means that seals and sea lions in cold regions will have less space to emerge from the water to rest, breed, or escape predators, forcing them to crowd more tightly together.
(Vaquitas are) the world’s most rare marine animal, and it’s “on the edge of extinction,” WWF says.
Only 10 individuals are still living in Mexico — and it has already been declared “functionally extinct.”
Six dolphins — four dead and two alive — have washed up in Huntington, Newport and Laguna beaches. Two more were reported in Seal Beach but washed back out to sea.
The high number led PMMC officials on Monday, Feb. 25, to declare the strandings “drastic and unexpected.”
Each photo is by Charmaine Coimbra. These photos were shot with either a 300 mm or 40-150 mm lens. Regulations and guidelines have been developed with specific recommendations and distances for viewing whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, sea… Read More ›
The center said it sees a surge in the number of sea lions admitted with symptoms of leptospirosis every four to five years. Before the 2017 outbreak, the most recent ones occurred in 2011 and 2008. During the 2011 outbreak, about 200 sea lions infected with leptospirosis were admitted to the center, according to a news release.
“What we currently have on the Columbia River is an ecosystem seriously out of balance,” said Herrera Beutler, who believes the bill is necessary to save fish runs on the brink of extinction.
Last year saw an alarming dieoff of North Atlantic right whales, something researchers refer as an “unusual mortality event.” Their carcasses littered the shores of the east coast—12 in Canada and 5 in the United States. Necropsies revealed that most of the animals died from blunt force trauma or entanglement issues. This brings the North Atlantic right whale’s fragile population to an estimated fewer than 500.
It comes as figures reveal 2017 as a ‘devastating year’ for dolphins and porpoises, with a total of 249 cetaceans recorded as Marine Strandings along the Cornish coastline – the highest recorded since 2003.
About 12 of the 2017 cases were found in Monterey County sea lions, the Monterey Herald reported. Leptospirosis is caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospira. Two of the cases were in Santa Cruz County.