· ·

California sea lion stranding crisis escalates to ‘epic proportions’

california-sea-lion-stranding-crisis-escalates-to-epic-proportions

The mass stranding of sea lions at Californian shores doesn’t seem stopping anytime soon and condition has deteriorated even more. The stranding(s) spiked in January and have intensified in recent weeks, the numbers have already surpassed total number of an average year. By March 13th, there were 517 pups admitted to marine mammal rehabilitation centers and by April 4, the number has risen to 1100Wired. Authorities still don’t know what is the exact cause of the stranding. NOAA’s marine mammal stranding coordinator for the state of California, Sarah Wilkin said,

“We’re still getting strandings of animals at kind of equal rates to what they had been. We don’t know how long the event is going to go on.”

According to the National Marine Mammal Foundation it is a crisis of epic proportions (CBS8) and announced a challenge grant to help pay for sea lion’s care. Last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) for California sea lions in California from January 2013 through the present. NOAA reports live sea lion strandings are nearly three times higher than the historical average.

Live California sea lion historical stranding rates for 2008-2012 (admits to rehabilitation facilities from Jan 1-March 31). Data for 2013 is as of March 24, 2013. Credits: NOAA Live California sea lion historical stranding rates for 2008-2012 (admits to rehabilitation facilities from Jan 1-March 31).
Data for 2013 is as of March 24, 2013. Credits: NOAA

 

FUKUSHIMA RADIATION ONE POSSIBLE CAUSE

NOAA assembles team to investigate ailing sea lion pups

Radiation from Japan’s nuclear disaster is being looked at as one possible cause for what some experts are declaring an “unusual mortality event” after hundreds of ailing sea lion pups washed ashore in Southern California. Read more here.

These pups might have weaned themselves early and left their colonies while their mothers were foraging to longer distances for food. As they’re not strong enough to find food on their own, their quest for survival brings them to shore. Many pups now reaching shore are reportedly in even worse condition as compared to those found earlier this year, possibly because they’ve been on their own for longer duration.

Though this stranding is much similar to El Niño’s impact wherein sea lions starve because of food scarcity, researchers are yet to ascertain the accurate cause for such large influx of emaciated sea lions. Investigators are attempting to find out the reason for the same.

 

Rehabilitation centers Santa Barbara to San Diego are full, because of which pups not needing critical care have been left on beaches for observation till the time space for them is available. Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur is at capacity with more than 100 animals on site. David Bard, Director of Operations at the center told,

“We’re working closely with the rescue agencies to prioritize the most critical animals on the beach first. As of the end of March, we exceeded the 400-intake mark. That’s the equivalent of an entire year’s worth of caseloads for us.”

Dead or alive stranded seal or Sea Lion can be reported at nearby stranding network. In case if you spot an animal that may appear stranded, do not try to help it. Instead call one of the Marine Mammal Centers:

San Diego County – (800) 341-7325

Orange County – (949) 494-3050

Los Angeles County – (310) 548-5677

Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties – (805) 687-3255

San Luis Obispo – Mendocino Counties – (415) 289-7325

Humbolodt – Del Norte Counties – (707) 822-8839

 

Featured image: Wildcat DunnyCC BY 2.0

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.

Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.

All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.

You can choose the level of your support.

Stay kind, vigilant and ready!

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:

11 Comments

  1. Just so no one is mislead by the photo in the article… it is a picture taken at the foot of Pier 39 in San Francisco where the sea lions congregate and bask in the sun letting the tourists take their pictures.

  2. Has a NECROPSY been done on the dead Sea Lions? It is possible that the Radiation and chemicals from the Fukushima, Japan disaster has finally made it to the California coastal area and in higher amounts than being told.

  3. I think this and many other animal standings that have been happening recently are due to the magnetic poles shifting. The animals use the electromagnetic pulse to follow where to go and now it’s way off of normal.

  4. it is obvious that the depletion of the worlds fish stocks because of of overfishing is the cause behind the delayed parent’s return to the pups who in turn have no food either. stop raping the worlds oceans and leave some for the other inhabitants of the world is the need here.

  5. The true reason why the sea lions are dying is because of radiation from Japan years ago finally hitting sea life. I enjoy reading news on this site but come on it’s not about globel changes.

  6. My my and now they are trying to eliminate $ spent on marine mammal strandings for the new 2014 fiscal budget. Fine timing for TPTB saving more $ for themselves opposed to helping the animals they needlessly endanger by chasing more $! aarrrrrrr….the greed has gotten too far out of control~

Leave a reply