Menu
Article Ecology
Dengue-resistance Spreads in Mosquitoes
Satellites Spy on Fish Farms
Fukushima Birds Affected
Boozing for Better Health
Climate Conflict of Interest?
One Year On
Antarctic Invasion
Lions Up Close
More Maternal Effort Means More Robust Offspring
Pesticide Problems for Bees
Ants Share Pathogens for Immunity
Poisonous Shrooms Battle Cancer
Colony Collapse from Pesticides?
Insect Battles, Big and Small
Spotted: Emperor Penguins
Melting Ice Releases Ancient Microbes
Pigeon GPS Identified
It’s Raining Mice
Ocean Plastic Aid Insects
Can Fish Eco-Labeling be Trusted?
How Prawns Lure Prey
Food's Afterlife
A Greener Arctic
The Ecology of Fear
  Mysterious Sea Lion Stranding Continues
As of late last week there appears to be no end in sight to a steady stream of sea lion pups that have been washing up on the coast of California, suffering from starvation. And researchers are struggling to determine what’s causing the mass strandings. More than 1,000 pups had already been taken to marine mammal rehabilitation facilities in the state by Thursday (April 4), according to Wired Science.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared it an “Unusual Mortality Event,” and teams of investigators are preparing to study the problem. Already, the event has produced more stranded sea lion pups than the yearly average.

Researchers will try to determine what exactly is causing the animals to starve, with the likely suspect being some environmental perturbation that is disturbing the sea lions’ food source, small fish that normally congregate offshore. Typically, warmer coastal waters will cause populations of anchovies and sardines to move or die off, but California waters have been cooler than average for a few years. But fish numbers have declined in recent years, and some scientists think that shifting ocean currents or other longer-term variations in atmospheric conditions could be to blame. “The timing of everything is really important,” Elliott Hazen, a marine ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told Wired Science.
Microbial Awakening
Little Fish in a Big Pond
No Sex Required
Old New Species
Beetles Warm BC Forests
Coughing Seashells
Marlboro Chicks
Fighting Microbes with Microbes
Fly Guts Reveal Animal Inventory
Cities Affect Global Weather Currents
Modeling All Life?
Killer Kittens
Opinion: Paradoxical Amphibians
Oil Additive Harming Seabirds
Diversity Defeats Disease
Icy Algae in a Changing Arctic
Native Frogs Beat Invasive Toads
Bridges for UK Water Voles
Mysterious Sea Lion Stranding Continues
Can CO2 Help Grow Rainforests?
Arctic Foxes Suffer from Seafood Diet
Plants Communicate with Help of Fungi
Ladybird Bioterrorists
Arctic Bacteria Thrives at Mars Temps
Mary O’Connor: Warming Up
Bird Bullies
An Ocean of Viruses
Science on Lockdown
 
West Coast Marine Threat
The Gigapixel Camera
Mixed Report for Oiled Salt Marshes
EPA to Regulate Greenhouse Emissions
Genetic Shift in Salmon
A Scientist Emerges
Life (Re)Cycle
How Green Are Your Fish?
School Teachers Release Invasives
Zoo Virus Swap
Mothers-In-Law and Menopause
Stalking Sharks
From Plants and Fungi to Clouds
Good Vibrations
Down and Dirty
Dogs Improve Beach Sanitation
A Funding Reboot
Agriculture-Ecology Initiative Announced
Evolving Dependence
Beard Beer
Opinion: Controlling Invasion
Natural-Born Doctors
Opinion: Fishy Deaths
A Celebrated Symposium