Tag Archives: Marine Animals

Turtles’ age determined by atomic-bomb fallout in their shells

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Hawksbill turtle. Photo source: ©© Henry Jager

Excerpts;

During the years spanning the mid-1950s to 1970, the US government conducted some serious atomic bomb testing above the waters of the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the corals accumulated a lot of nuclear fallout into their structures. But the coral wasn’t the only sea creature to take radioactive material onboard, hawksbill sea turtles incorporated the material into their shells as well…

Read Full Article, CNET

Biological clock discovered in sea turtles shells, Duke University

Bikini Atoll nuclear test: 60 years later and islands still unliveable, Guardian UK (03-01-2014)

Revisiting Bikini Atoll, NASA (03-10-2014)
Sixty years ago, the United States detonated a thermonuclear bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, that altered the landscape, hundreds of lives, and the trajectory of a nuclear arms race…

French Nuclear Tests Showered Vast Area of Polynesia With Radioactivity, Guardian UK (07-03-2013)
French nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s were far more toxic than has been previously acknowledged and hit a vast swath of Polynesia with radioactive fallout, according to newly declassified ministry of defence documents…

Endangered Green Sea Turtles Return to Florida in Record Numbers

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Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Green sea turtles nested in record numbers in 2015 at Florida’s Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, the most important green sea turtle nesting habitat in North America.

The improvement reflects the joint efforts of conservationists, government, and local residents to reduce light pollution and other human impacts on the refuge’s beaches, which are also key nesting habitat for endangered loggerhead turtles…

Read Full Article, Take Part

Successful Conservation Efforts along Florida, Pacific Coasts Recognized in Revised ESA Listing of Green Sea Turtle, NOAA (03-21-2015)

Community Conservation Efforts Credited For Increasing Olive Ridley Turtles Nesting, India, IPS News (03-27-2014)

Light Pollution Deters Nesting Sea Turtles, LiveScience (06-09-2013)

Sea Turtles Face Plastic Pollution Peril, University of Exeter (10-09-2015)
A new global review that set out to investigate the hazards of marine plastic pollution has warned that all seven species of marine turtles can ingest or become entangled in the discarded debris that currently litters the oceans, and nesting beaches…

Recovering Fur Seal Population Threatened by El Nino

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Fur seals in the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge wilderness, located nearly 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Franciso, California. Photo source: USFWS

Excerpts;

After all but vanishing from the granite shores of the Farallon Islands, by the mid-1800s, the seals have been returning in ever-increasing numbers—just in time to take a hit from a strong, brewing El Niño.

Scientists expect the challenging ocean conditions offshore will affect multiple species, and say the situation is a preview of what could come if warming trends continue…

Read Full Article, National Geographic

Record Number of Seals Are Dying On California Shores, Nature World News (10-02-2015)

Unprecedented sea lion strandings in California linked to warmer Pacific, Reuters, (02-19-2015)

Climate Change Hits Sea Lions in the Santa Barbara Channel, SB Independent (04-18-2015)

Shark ‘eco-barrier’ nets for New South Wales’ north coast to be installed

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Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Unlike traditional shark nets, the eco-barriers stretch from seabed to surface and shoreline to shoreline.

They are made of thick, rigid nylon that does not trap marine wildlife, as the older nets tend to do. The new nets are part of the NSW government’s $16m shark strategy to protect swimmers and surfers from shark attacks…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

How Should We Respond When Humans and Sharks Collide? National Geographic (07-05-2013)
With more and more people using the ocean, the way we talk about shark attacks and the methods governments use to reduce the risk of shark bites have evolved over time. A study of how the public and governments respond to shark bites in North America, Australia, and Africa…

Sea Lions Exposed To Toxic Algae At Risk Of Brain Damage and Memory Loss

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Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A toxin in algae may be erasing the memory of sea lions, which wash ashore by the hundreds each year off the coast of California, disoriented and suffering seizures, scientists said…

Read Full Article, Nature World News

California health officials issue warning against crab consumption, CNN (11-04-2015)
Due to the detection of dangerous levels of domoic acid, Dungeness and rock crabs caught in waters between the Oregon borders and the southern Santa Barbara County line pose a “significant risk to the public if consumed,” the California Department of Public Health said in a release…

Climate Change Hits Sea Lions in the Santa Barbara Channel, Santa Barbara Independent (04-18-2015)

Unprecedented sea lion strandings in California linked to warmer Pacific, Reuters (02-19-2015)
The strandings of a record number of sea lion pups along the California coast this year are linked to a puzzling weather pattern that has warmed their Pacific Ocean habitat and likely impacted fish populations they rely on for food, federal scientists said…

Why Hundreds of Starving Sea Lion Pups Are Washing Up in California, The Time (02-18-2015)

Spike in Sick Sea Lions Along Calif. Coast Puzzles Scientists, LiveScience (04-04-2013)

Record Number of Seals Are Dying On California Shores, Nature World News (04-18-2015)
Along California’s coast, an increasing number of endangered Guadalupe fur seals have died after stranding themselves on shore. Since January, almost 80 dead fur seals have been found in the area, leading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to declare an “Unusual Mortality Event” (UME)…

Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study finds

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Leatherback hatchlings. Photo source: ©© Jeroen Looyé

Excerpts;

The enormous, solitary leatherback sea turtle spends most of its long life at sea. After hatching and dispersing across the world’s oceans, only the female leatherbacks return to their natal beaches to lay clutches of eggs in the sand. A new study offers fresh insights into their nesting choices.

Human encroachment on leatherback nesting sites, in the form of beachfront construction and sand mining, is a major threat to the animals’ continuation as a species…

Read Full Article, Phys.Org

Illegal Sand-Mining Threatens Sea Turtle Population, St Kitts-Nevis (03-19-2011)
The biodiversity of St Kitts and Nevis, including the sea turtle population, is under threat due to the increase in illegal sand-mining that is taking place…

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (2013)

More Sea Turtles Will Be Born Female As Climate Warms, Guardia UK (05-20-2014)

Turtles Change Migration Routes Due to Climate Change, IPS News

Stealing Turtle Eggs Got People Shot, But The Thievery Continues, National geographic video, (12-08-2015)

Palm Beach Sea Turtles Killed During Beach Renourishment Project, Broward Palm Beach New Times (04-28-2015)

337 Whales Beached in Largest Stranding Ever

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Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile. Photo source: ©© Joe Foley

Excerpts;

Scientists made a startling discovery on an observation flight over a remote fjord in southern Chile’s Patagonia: 337 dead whales. That is the biggest single whale stranding event known to science…

Read Full Article, National Geographic

Whale Mass Stranding Attributed to Sonar Mapping For First Time, Wildlife Conservation Society (09-26-2013)

Slew Of Beached Whales On Britains Shores Mystifies Scientists (10-2011)

Mass Strandings of Pilot Whales: A Study, Science Daily (03-2013)

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-20-2011)

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature

Sea Turtle Eggs Have Turned Beach into a Battleground

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Bags of turtle eggs on the beach, ready for sale; Costa Rica. Photo source: ©© Brandon Schabes

Excerpts;

Moin Beach in Costa Rica has long served as nesting grounds for leatherback turtles, but it is also one of the most dangerous beaches in Central America…

Read Full Article, ABC News

Conservationist Murders Threaten Costa Rica’s Eco-Friendly Reputation, Guardian UK (03-19-2015)
The brutal murder of Jairo Mora, who was trying to protect endangered turtle eggs, was the latest in a string of crimes against environmentalists in the country. Since 1989, the murder of 10 environmentalists have gone unsolved. Environmental and human rights groups are calling for reforms to address the dangers these environmental protectors face…

Costa Rica Has a Sea Turtle Egg-Poaching Problem, LiveScience (05-21-2013)
Besides being beautiful, Costa Rica’s beaches are the nesting sites of four endangered sea turtle species, which return each year to lay their eggs. But there is trouble in paradise for these reptiles, namely, from egg thieves…

Sea Turtle Egg Poaching Legalized in Costa Rica: The Debate, Coastal Care (07-29-2011)
Two decades on, an unusual project to stabilize the population of Olive Ridley sea turtles in the coastal town of Ostional on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula that led the Government to legally permit an exemption to the ban on harvesting sea turtle eggs, remains controversial…

California’s Crab Fiasco Is Worse for Marine Life Than Humans

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Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Something strange started happening to California sea lions. Over the course of just a few months, hundreds of them hauled themselves onto beaches near Monterey Bay and began convulsing uncontrollably…

Read Full Article, WIRED

Questions, Answers about Toxic West Coast Crabs, AP / Yahoo News (11-06-2015)
A poisonous substance linked to a massive algae bloom off the West Coast has led officials to halt recreational shellfishing from Washington to California and is blamed for sickening dozens of seabirds, seals, whales and other marine life. Here are some key things to know about the problem…

California health officials issue warning against crab consumption, CNN (11-04-2015)
Due to the detection of dangerous levels of domoic acid, Dungeness and rock crabs caught in waters between the Oregon borders and the southern Santa Barbara County line pose a “significant risk to the public if consumed,” the California Department of Public Health said in a release…

Climate Change Hits Sea Lions in the Santa Barbara Channel, Santa Barbara Independent (04-18-2015)

Unprecedented sea lion strandings in California linked to warmer Pacific, Reuters (02-19-2015)
The strandings of a record number of sea lion pups along the California coast this year are linked to a puzzling weather pattern that has warmed their Pacific Ocean habitat and likely impacted fish populations they rely on for food, federal scientists said…