Mar 26

Bazillions of crab-like things washed ashore

- Dead sea creatures “covering the sand with a sea of red” on California beach; Witnesses: “Bazillions of crab-like things washed ashore… I’ve never seen these before, it’s incredible” — ‘Glow in the dark’ organisms recently stranded nearby; Official: “No one here has ever seen it!” (VIDEO) (ENENews, March 23, 2015):

Orange County Register, Feb 25, 2015 (emphasis added): Tiny crabs still coming in waves off Balboa Island — Thousands… created a rim of red along the shoreline, scattered on the sand along the sleepy seaside of Balboa Island in Newport Beach… Experts say the crabs – which are about 1-to 3-inches long – haven’t been seen in the area for decades… The pelagic crabs are the latest in a year of odd sightings… glow-in-the-dark organisms called pyrosomes washed ashore in September, and before that a blue, jellyfish-like creatures… Continue reading »

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Mar 18

- Scientists seek cause of mysterious affliction in Alaska polar bears with baldness and crusty skin lesions; Spiked after Fukushima, nearly 1,000% average — Gov’t: Ongoing reports of unusual number of ‘hairless seals’ with sores — “Seals continue to be reported with hair loss… it makes us nervous” (PHOTO) (ENENews, March 17, 2015):

Alaska Dispatch News, Dec 11, 2014 (emphasis added): Scientists seek cause of patchy baldness in some Beaufort Sea polar bears — Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea area are suffering hair loss due to a condition called alopecia syndrome… but the precise cause of that stress is yet to be determined, according to a new study… in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases… Over the study period, 3.45 percent of the bears examined had alopecia syndrome — [loss of] hairs around the head, neck and shoulders, accompanied by crusty lesions on the exposed skin. The incidences peaked in 2012, when 28 percent of the examined polar bears had the problem. That was at about the same time a mysterious affliction, with patchy fur loss and bleeding skin lesions, sickened hundreds of Arctic Alaska seals, killing many of them. The affliction was seen among some walruses… There were some years when none of the captured polar bears had alopecia syndrome, and some years, like 2012, with relatively high rates… “They might be more energetically stressed, and then they encounter some other stressors,” [USGS biologist Todd Atwood] said… Further analysis of the Beaufort bears’ alopecia problems is planned… Continue reading »

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Mar 17

- 10,000 baby sea lions dead on one California island — Experts: “It’s getting crazy… This is a crisis… Never seen anything like it… Very difficult to see so much death” — TV: “Numbers skyrocketing at alarming rates” — “Woman is burying the rotting mammals” after digging graves at beach (VIDEOS) (ENENews, March 16, 2015):

NBC L.A., Mar 12, 2015 (emphasis added): “The sea lion emergency is back all along the California shore“… [Pups] are washing ashore at a rate so alarming, rescuers said Thursday, this year is the worst yetmore than 1,600 marine mammals [have been picked up].

KTLA, Mar 10, 2015: Stranding numbers for the months of January and February were more than 20 times the average [said NOAA]. Continue reading »

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Mar 14

- Expert: Disease outbreak on US West Coast is largest ever seen in any population of animals — Tens of millions dead — Official: Gov’t needs to declare emergency before extinction occurs — Many scientists believed radiation from Fukushima to blame (VIDEO) (ENENews, March 14, 2015):

McClatchy, Mar 13, 2015 (emphasis added): With millions of starfish dying all along the West Coast [and] disintegrating into mush [Congressman Denny Heck wants NOAA] to declare “sea star wasting syndrome” an emergency before the starfish becomes extinct.

National Geographic, Jan 23, 2015: [It’s killed] tens of millions of sea stars.

Cornell Prof. Drew Harvell, sea star researcher, Mar 13, 2015: “There has never been an outbreak of disease in natural populations of animals that I know that’s been this large.”

Newport Beach official Michelle Clemente: “All of our area’s sea stars have disintegratedContinue reading »

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Mar 05

CA_sea-lions_strandings

- Gov’t: It’s getting “even worse” on West Coast — Experts say over 35,000 baby sea lion could be dead, “this phenomenon unprecedented in scale” — Hundreds of times more pups than usual at rescue center — Doctor: “Definitely indicates ocean not normal… Really, we should be worried” (AUDIO) (ENENews, March 4, 2015):

NOAA, Feb 18, 2015 (pdf): We are seeing an unusually large increase of California sea lion pups stranding [that’s] intensified over the last few weeks… it is very difficult to pinpoint what is causing the increase… [There are] warmer waters than usual, but an official El Nino has not yet been declared… [We are] preparing for the worst… health trends of marine mammals [inform] us about the health of the entire ecosystem… if the stranding numbers exceed the 2013 UME [facilities will be unable to] accept more animals… animals may be left on the beach [or] humanely euthanized.

Malibu Surfside News, Mar 3, 2015: The number of animals that can be rescued and rehabilitated is very small compared to the total number of pups in distress… in 2013, Federal officials estimated that 70 percent of the total number [~35,000 out of 50,000 newborns] may have died and experts say that the numbers may be even higher this year. Continue reading »

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Feb 26

malibu_sea_lions

- FOX L.A.: “Dead sea lions litter Malibu beaches, families shocked… WARNING: Graphic Images” — Babies being eaten by birds — So many 911 calls about dying animals it’s “bogging down system” — “Scientists say this year is worst in history” — Tells us “major changes are going on out in the ocean” (VIDEO) (ENENews, Feb 24, 2015):

FOX 11 News, Feb 23, 2015 (emphasis added): Dozens of dead Sea Lions litter Malibu beaches; families shocked — A family stumbled upon nearly 10 dead sea lions on a Malibu beach Sunday (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES IN THIS STORY AND VIDEO) “We just came down the stairs and little sea lions are being washed on to shore dying,” Neda Soderqvist says… “It was devastating to see a bunch of sea lions just lying dead. It wasn’t one or two it was six or eight,” Soderqvist said to FOX 11′s Christine O’Donnell. The sight was especially difficult for her seven-year-old… “They came up and just died right in front of us,” Isabella said… Earlier in the week, Kristin Thames says stumbled across the same devastating scene… “They’re only allowed to take three sea lion pups because there’s not enough space at the rescue centers for more,” Thames said, “it’s really sad.”

Marin Independent Journal, Feb 21, 2015: “First time in our history that we have had sea lion pups here this early” [said] Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the mammal center… sea lions are a sentinel species, a canary in the coal mine. “They can tell us what is happening in the ocean and if it’s unhealthy.” Continue reading »

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Feb 23

birds_lesions_CA

- Alarming epidemic causing mass die-off along California coast — “Nasty, cheese-like lesions” prevent birds from eating, breathing — Newly discovered parasite being blamed — Experts: “Surprising… Very concerning… Sudden increase is disturbing” (GRAPHIC PHOTOS) (ENENews, Feb 21, 2015):

San Luis Obispo (SLO) Tribune, Feb 18, 2015 (emphasis added): I am a volunteer at Pacific Wildlife Care… there is an ongoing problem throughout California with band-tailed pigeons that have grown sick or are dying of Trichomoniasis – a protozoan that causes lesions to form in the throat and nasal passages.

San Francisco Chronicle, Feb 2, 2015: Mass pigeon deaths alarm biologists — An alarming increase in the number of dead and dying band-tailed pigeons along the California coast… apparent victims of a parasite… The sudden increase in mortality is disturbing, [Krysta Rogers, Calif. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife] said… “[It] is very concerning… Right now, it’s really hard to estimate mortality because… if there are deaths in remote locations, we’re not getting reports.”… [The parasite] lives in the mouth and throat of infected birds, causing lesions in the mouth or esophagus that eventually block the passage of food. Infected birds die from starvation or suffocation. Continue reading »

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Feb 15

See also:

- FOX San Diego: Sardines, Crayfish ‘Disappeared From Pacific Ocean … They’ve Just Vanished’

- 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

- TV: “Animals basically dying on our beaches” along West Coast — “New, worse calamity seems to be unfolding” — Experts: “Like walking skeletons”; “So hungry they gnaw on rocks”; “Skin hanging off”; “Extremely unusual… maybe the fish have all left”; “Prepare for the worst”

- Gov’t: Sea urchins with insides empty, bare skeletons, and black lesions in Hawaii — Birds dying of unusual cancers, rarely seen in wildlife

- “Sea creatures sick, dying or disappearing at alarming rate all along Pacific coast… Some wonder if it’s fallout from Fukushima” — New York Times: “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction” — Study: “We may be on precipice of major extinction event” in marine wildlife


- “Alarming Numbers”: Over 15,000 baby sea lions may have died off California coast — “Marine biologists warn it could deplete an entire generation” — “Heralding the demise of something else beneath the waves”? (VIDEO) (ENENews, Feb 15, 2015):

LA Times, Feb 12, 2015 (emphasis added): [A] record number of sea lions [have] been rescued in recent weeks. “One hundred and two California sea lions in the last 10 days,” a spokeswoman for the [Marine Mammal Center] said… The influx is unprecedented

National Geographic, Feb 12, 2015: Since January 1, nearly 500 of the tiny animals have been [rescued] a number many times higher than normal. Why these animals are struggling to survive is a mystery… California sea lions are considered a sentinel species, meaning they’re seen as indicators of ocean health. Generally, if sea lions are suffering, something is wrong offshore. In this case, scientists still don’t really know what that something is… Starting in January 2013, waves of starving sea lion pups began washing ashore… Scientists noted that the stranding pattern resembled that of severe El Niño years [with] warm ocean waters… The trouble was, these weren’t El Niño years… January 2014, strandings started to swell again… Now, 2015 is looking even worse… more than 470 sea lions have been admitted to California rehab centers… For now, it’s too soon to say… if the sea lion pups are heralding the demise of something else beneath the waves. Continue reading »

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Feb 10

Dying-CA-SeaLion

- 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) (ENENews, Feb 10, 2015):

Fox 5 San Diego transcript, Feb 9, 2015 (emphasis added): It’s been a record year right now for seal and sea lion rescues all along our coast… For some reason sardines and crayfish have pretty much disappeared from the Pacific Ocean — and that is having a very negative impact on seals and sea lions, especially their babies…

Dr. Todd Schmitt, who runs Sea World’s Animal Rescue Center, Feb 9, 2015: “This time of year, we’re seeing 10 times the numbers we’d normally see during the stranding season… They’re all just severely malnourished. They’re coming in emaciated, dehydrated, really severe body condition… They just can’t find food on their own… We think the food – fish — they’re looking for isn’t there. That crayfish, the sardines, have just vanished from California waters, at least around the Channel Islands and coastal areas, so they’re just not able to find food… They’re struggling to survive right now.” Continue reading »

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Feb 03

- 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) (ENENews, Feb 2, 2015):

Orange County Register, Jan 25, 2015 (emphasis added): … Marine mammal experts say the numbers could hit even higher levels than in 2013 [a record-setting year for sea lion strandings], which federal officials called an unusual mortality event… The difference this year: Starving pups showed up as early as December. Sick females and juveniles are also being found“The difference [now] is we’re not just seeing little pups,” said Lauren Palmer, a veterinarian [with the Marine Mammal Center at Fort MacArthur]. “Females and yearlings are coming in… It’s really hard to wrap our head around the story of what’s happening.”

David Bard, operations director at the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, Jan 19, 2015: “What we’re seeing that’s different is we are seeing a wider array of species and age groups, so in other words [in 2013] we were seeing primarily California sea lion pups, this year we’re also seeing harbor seals and fur seals as well as some sub-adults and adults.” Continue reading »

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Feb 03

- TV: “Animals basically dying on our beaches” along West Coast — “New, worse calamity seems to be unfolding” — Experts: “Like walking skeletons”; “So hungry they gnaw on rocks”; “Skin hanging off”; “Extremely unusual… maybe the fish have all left”; “Prepare for the worst” (VIDEOS) (ENENews, Feb 1, 2015):

Fox San Diego, Jan 27, 2015 (emphasis added): SeaWorld rescue teams have taken in more than 50 baby sea lions stranded on San Diego shores… “Their skin is so loose hanging off them, it looks like they’re wearing pajamas” [said SeaWorld’s] Jody Wetberg…

LA Times, Jan 30, 2015: “Their growth is stunted,” said Shawn Johnson… at the Marine Mammal Center… “They’re basically starved to death — no muscle, no fat, just skin and bones.”… January 2015, however, has been “extremely unusual” for the Northern California center, he said. In winter, the sea lion population is concentrated in Southern California, then shifts northward in late summer, Johnson said. So for the center to see so many animals is cause for further concern… “Maybe the fish have all left, and that’s why this is happening.” Continue reading »

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Jan 24

- Gov’t: Sea urchins with insides empty, bare skeletons, and black lesions in Hawaii — Birds dying of unusual cancers, rarely seen in wildlife (PHOTOS) (ENENews, Jan 22, 2015):

USGS National Wildlife Health Center Honolulu Field Station, 2014 (emphasis added):

  • Focus: Sea Urchin Disease — The Nature Conservancy (TNC) first observed sick-looking urchins at an old sunken barge [in] Oahu. They were also observed more recently on patch reefs in Kaneohe Bay (KB), Oahu… The first report of sick-looking urchins was made back in late February of 2014. Then in early May, sick-looking urchins were observed at KB… HFS [Honolulu Field Station], DLNR [Department of Land and Natural Resources], and TNC set out to investigate and conducted surveys at both sites, collecting healthy and sick urchins. Necropsies were then conducted at the HFS lab to determine cause of death… Affected urchins have dull flattened spines (droopy urchins), or gradual to complete loss of spines (outside skeleton bare). Some are found empty with some tissue and spine remaining on their surface. At this point, the public is encouraged to report any sick or dead urchins to the Eyes Of the Reef network in order to determine how widespread this event is. Laboratory efforts are underway to try and identify what is causing this disease.
  • Necropsy Files: Tumors in Birds — In August 2013, an adult nene from Hawaii died of lymphoma, a cancer of blood cells. In September, 2013, a critically endangered Rota crow died from liver cancer. These two cases were unusual in that cancer is rare in wildlife in general. Most wild animals do not live long enough to get cancer and usually die from things like starvation, trauma, or infectious diseases. Continue reading »

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Jan 19

- “Sea creatures sick, dying or disappearing at alarming rate all along Pacific coast… Some wonder if it’s fallout from Fukushima” — New York Times: “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction” — Study: “We may be on precipice of major extinction event” in marine wildlife (VIDEO) (ENENews, Jan 18, 2015):

Williams Lake Tribune columnist Diana French, Jan 13, 2015 (emphasis added): Out of sight is out of mind. Those of us living in the Interior might not know or care that sea creatures are sick, dying or disappearing at an alarming rate all along the Pacific coast. There are dying oysters, bleeding herring, melting star fish, hungry Orcas and sick seals. The latest are dead seabirds… Some blame ocean acidification for the devastation, others wonder if it’s radiation fallout from Fukushima. Whatever, it might be helpful to find the cause before all the creatures are gone. Continue reading »

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Jan 15

- 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) (ENENews, Jan 13. 2015)

Orange County Register, Jan 10, 2015 (emphasis added): 8 sea lions rescued in OC in just over a week; number mystifies officials — It’s not normal for eight sea lions to need rescuing in just over a week — especially at this time of year. But that’s exactly what has happened… six were pups and yearlings… [one] only 21 pounds, and [another] 23 pounds… [Experts don’t] know why it’s happening.

ABC 7′s Greg Lee, Jan 12, 2015: Sad, sad photo: Huge increase in rescued #sealions across CA

ABC Los Angeles, Jan 12, 2015: Sea lions in distress — a mysterious surge in sick sea lions… here in S. California and statewide… New at 5, a big increase in the number of stranded sea lions being rescued… Some of them very seriously ill… nearly a dozen sea lions at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Facilities across California are reporting a massive increase in the number of sea lions needing to be rescued in 2015… Baby sea lions [are] in very bad shape. Continue reading »

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Jan 09

die-off of birds on entire West Coast

- Unprecedented: ‘Cataclysmic’ die-off of birds on entire West Coast — Beaches covered with dead bodies — Professor: It’s tragic… never seen anything like this… We ignore it at our peril… Canary in the coalmine for us… Scrambling to figure out what’s going on with ecosystem (VIDEOS) (ENENews, Jan 9, 2015):

Statesman Journal, Jan 2, 2015 (emphasis added): Why is the beach covered in dead birds?…  “I’ve never seen that many before”… a mass die-off [is] going on along the entire West Coast… “To be this lengthy and geographically widespread, I think is kind of unprecedented,” [said Phillip Johnson of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition]. Continue reading »

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Dec 28

- Siberian ‘Hachiko’ dog allowed to stay in hospital where owner died 1 yr ago (RT, Dec 28, 2014):

The holiday spirit is alive and well in a hospital in Siberia, where Masha, Russia’s own ‘Hachiko’ dog was given permanent residence status. For a whole year the loyal pet kept ‘dogging’ the hospital, waiting for her owner who had passed away.

Despite a number of attempts to have Masha adopted, the heartbroken pooch kept running away and coming back to the Novosibirsk District Hospital Number One, where she last saw her owner in December, 2013.
Continue reading »

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Dec 22

sixth-remaining-northern-white-rhino-dies

- Northern white rhinos hunted to extinction – There are now only 5 left in the world (Natural News, Dec 22, 2014):

Due to extensive poaching in which the perceived value of their horns seems to matter more than their lives, the northern white rhino population has dwindled severely through the years. While many people may consider numbers in the hundreds or even thousands small, in the instance of the northern white rhino, the numbers are much more shocking; they can literally be counted on one hand.

Sadly, with the recent natural death of Angalifu, a 44-year-old rhino at San Diego’s National Safari Park, there are now only five left on the planet. While it’s good news that they’re under the protection of zoos and wildlife reserves, the bad news is that it’s unlikely that the remaining rhinos will produce offspring, as it’s very rare for rhinos to breed in captivity. In fact, the female rhino at the San Diego Park, Nola (who is still living), was unable to produce offspring with Angalifu.(1,2) Continue reading »

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Dec 05

Flashback:

- More Than 400 Dead Dolphins Found In Northern Peru


- 500 more dead sea lions; Fukushima radiation continues to spread across ocean (Natural News, Dec 5, 2014):

Another mysterious wave of dead sea animals has washed ashore in Peru, the possible consequence of ongoing radiation releases from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan. BBC News reports that 500 dead sea lions were recently discovered on Peru’s northern coastline, some 250 miles north of the capital city of Lima, with no obvious explanation as to why this occurred.

The latest of several mass die-offs in recent years, the rotting corpses were found on Anconcillo Beach, located in Peru’s Ancash region. Both young and old sea lions were found at the site, which the local governor blamed on fishermen who may have poisoned them while they searched for food at the shoreline. Others like the environmental group Orca, however, say oil exploration is probably the cause. Continue reading »

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Dec 05

Astrocyte nerve cells make a wealth of connections
Astrocyte nerve cells make a wealth of connections

- The smart mouse with the half-human brain (New Scientist, Dec 1, 2014):

What would Stuart Little make of it? Mice have been created whose brains are half human. As a result, the animals are smarter than their siblings.

The idea is not to mimic fiction, but to advance our understanding of human brain diseases by studying them in whole mouse brains rather than in dishes.

The altered mice still have mouse neurons – the “thinking” cells that make up around half of all their brain cells. But practically all the glial cells in their brains, the ones that support the neurons, are human.

“It’s still a mouse brain, not a human brain,” says Steve Goldman of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. “But all the non-neuronal cells are human.” Continue reading »

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Nov 12

Flashback:

- Study of Stranded Dolphins Shows Many to Be Near-Deaf (Thanks to Navy Sonar)

- Navy Study: Sonar, Blasts Might ‘Hurt’ (= Kill) More Dolphins And Whales

- Oil Firms Sonar Blasts Probably Responsible For The Deaths Of Thousands Of Dolphins

- Shocking: 260 Dead Dolphins Scattered On Shoreline Of Peru, Just Days After Mysterious U.S. Incident (Video)

See also

- The Cove – Oscar Award Winner (‘Best Documentary’)


blue-whale

- US Navy to kill, injure ‘thousands’ of whales, dolphins during drills – activists (RT, Nov 11, 2014):

As the US Navy conducts war games off the coasts of California and Hawaii over the next four years, environmentalists are fighting back with legal action over concerns that hundreds, if not thousands, of marine animals will be injured or killed.

The Conservation Council for Hawaii has recently asked a judge to put an end to the naval exercises in the region on the grounds that they violate the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Washington Post reports. The group previously filed a lawsuit against the war games last year before the exercises began, arguing the drills should not have been approved in the first place. Continue reading »

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