Title: What is killing California sea lion pups? Why unusual event is a concern
Source: Christian Science Monitor
Author: Gloria Goodale
Date: April 10, 2013
[...] “In our 42 years, we have never seen anything like this,” [Pacific Marine Mammal Center development director Melissa Sciacca] says. [...]
This unusual wave of sea lion beaching comes at the same time as a rash of equally remarkable marine mammal events have caused a sensation over the past few months. Back in mid-February, a mega-pod of feeding dolphins that was estimated to number in the tens of thousands and to cover 35 square miles astonished residents near San Diego, while the largest pods of grey and killer whales ever spotted also delighted tourists at the same time as they perplexed scientists.
Researchers at NOAA are cautious in their proposals as to what is behind the growing number of incapacitated sea lion pups, points out Beth Pratt, California director of the National Wildlife Federation. But, she adds, it’s hard for the average person watching these events not to think they’re connected somehow.
“It seems pretty obvious to the average viewer that there is something going on in our oceans or environments that is driving such extraordinary changes in marine mammal behavior,” she says. [...]
See also: TV: Crisis of epic proportions for California sea lions -- Suffering abscesses, seizures -- Exponentially higher numbers washing up (VIDEO)
Published: April 10th, 2013 at 10:52 pm ET
- ABC: ‘Mysterious surge’ in sick marine mammals all along California coast — Infested with parasites, extremely emaciated; “Very seriously ill… in very bad shape” — Experts: “We’re extremely concerned right now” — Deaths up 1,500% at rescue facility — ‘Number mystifies officials’ (VIDEOS) January 13, 2015
- CBS: Officials alarmed as several types of marine mammals begin washing up in California — “Now entire coast is being affected” — “Whole population getting hit hard… a real shock to us” — Animals of all ages sick, not only newborns — “Really hard to wrap our heads around what’s happening” (VIDEO) February 2, 2015
- NBC: Record level of sick or injured California seals and sea lions turning up — “The numbers are extraordinary” — “Scientists worried… The worst kind of perfect storm” — Pups should be weighing 2 or 3 times as much, “severely malnourished” (VIDEO) April 18, 2014
- Many large marine mammals found dead around California, public warned to expect further strandings — FOX: “Very disturbing… I kept running into more… So unusual… Part of troubling trend” — ABC: “So many dead animals, it felt really tragic… Very peculiar… Fear there’s more to come” (VIDEO) July 7, 2015
- FOX San Diego: Sardines, crayfish “disappeared from Pacific Ocean… they’ve just vanished” — Marine mammals starving, struggling to survive on West Coast — Strandings in past 5 weeks already exceed what’s normally seen for an entire year — “Much larger” than anything on record (VIDEOS) February 10, 2015