Tag Archives: Marine Animals

Affluent countries contribute less to wildlife conservation than the rest of the world


Photograph courtesy of: © Denis Delestrac

Excerpts;

A new research collaboration has found that poorer countries tend to take a more active approach to biodiversity protection than richer nations.

Despite facing a number of domestic challenges, such as poverty and political instability in many parts of the continent, Africa was found to prioritise wildlife preservation, and contribute more to conservation than any other region of the world.

African countries made up four of the five top-performing mega-fauna conservation nations, with Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe topping the list. By contrast, the United States ranked nineteenth out of the twenty performing countries. Approximately one-quarter of countries in Asia and Europe were identified as significantly underperforming in their commitment to mega-fauna conservation…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (05-04-2017)

NOAA Asks Public to Report Injured Whales

whales-california
Photo source: ©© Mike Baird

Excerpts;

Humpback whales are dying in unusually high numbers off of the Atlantic coast, from Maine to North Carolina, and the federal government is asking the public to report any more sightings of whales.

Federal officials reported last week that 41 whales have died in the past 15 months in what marine scientists coin an “unusual mortality event.” While there are theories for the deaths, officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a solid explanation has not been found.

Officials said whales have been found with blunt-force injuries, possibly caused by collisions with ships…

Read Full Article, Coastal Review Online (05-01-2017)

Study: Why Blue Whales Can’t Avoid Barges, Ocean Liners, Huffington Green (05-06-2015)

NOAA proposal extends rule reducing risk of whale ship strikes along U.S. East Coast; NOAA (06-05-2013)

Worldwide Ship Traffic Up 300 Percent Since 1992, AGU (11-29-2014)
Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years…

Larger marine animals at higher risk of extinction, and humans are to blame, Science Daily (09-14-2016)
In today’s oceans, larger-bodied marine animals are more likely to become extinct than smaller creatures, according to a Stanford-led report. It’s a pattern that is unprecedented in the history of life on Earth, and one that is likely driven by human fishing…

NOAA Declares Deaths of large Whales in Gulf of Alaska an Unususal Mortality Event; NOAA (08-24-2015)

Whales Benefit From Action On Ocean Noise, BBC News (03-04-2013)
Scientists are working to reduce the noise levels experienced by whales from North Atlantic shipping.

Sonic Sea, Film Documentary; NRDC May 19th, 2016
Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. “Sonic Sea” is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution…

Nutrient pollution is changing sounds in the sea, Science Daily; (06-06-2016)
Nutrient pollution emptying into seas from cities, towns and agricultural land is changing the sounds made by marine life — and potentially upsetting navigational cues for fish and other sea creatures, a new study has found…

Whale found dying off coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags in its stomach; Telegraph UK (02-03-2017)
Scientists in Norway found more than 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste inside the stomach of a whale stranded off the coast…

World Must Tackle the Biggest Killer of Whales – and it’s not Whaling; IPS News (10-24-2016)

Orca pod filmed hunting whale calf in ‘unprecedented’ California killing spree


Killer Whales, Monterey Bay, California. Photo source: ©© John K

Excerpts;

In an “unprecedented” rash of attacks, a pod of killer whales in Monterey Bay, California, has killed four gray whales in a week, a phenomenon one researcher hasn’t seen in her 30-year career…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK (04-28-2017)

Spread of algal toxin through marine food web broke records in 2015, Science Daily (01-10-2016)
Researchers monitoring the unprecedented bloom of toxic algae along the west coast of North America in 2015 found record levels of the algal toxin domoic acid in samples from a wide range of marine organisms. The toxin was also detected for the first time in the muscle tissue or filet of several commercial fish species…

Sea Lions Exposed To Toxic Algae At Risk Of Brain Damage and Memory Loss; Nature World News (12-15-2015)

Warmer West Coast ocean conditions linked to increased risk of toxic shellfish; NOAA (01-09-2017)
Hazardous levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin that accumulates in shellfish, have been linked to warmer ocean conditions in waters off Oregon and Washington for the first time by a NOAA-supported research team…

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…

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)…

World Must Tackle the Biggest Killer of Whales; IPS News (10-24-2016)

Larger marine animals at higher risk of extinction, and humans are to blame, Science Daily (09-14-2016)
In today’s oceans, larger-bodied marine animals are more likely to become extinct than smaller creatures, according to a Stanford-led report. It’s a pattern that is unprecedented in the history of life on Earth, and one that is likely driven by human fishing…

Ship noise in coastal habitats could interfere with orca’s communication; Science Daily (02-03-2016)

As China’s Mudflats Disappear, Shorebird Populations Rapidly Decline


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Populations of some migratory shorebirds are declining by as much as 8 percent per year as mudflats in the Yellow Sea between China and South Korea disappear due to rising sea levels and infrastructure projects, according to new research…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (04-13-2017)

Rare Shorebirds Threatened By Trapping in China; BBC News (01-20-2013)

What makes this New Zealand beach a whale graveyard?


Beached pilot whales, Farewell Spit, New Zealand. Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve
“Of all cetaceans – whales and dolphins – pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves. Their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single leader…” Captions: Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan or, The Whale

Excerpts;

Each year locals from Golden Bay at the top of New Zealand’s South Island know to expect a whale beaching at a narrow strip of sand curving into the Cook Strait, known as Farewell Spit…

Read Full Article, BBC News (02-13-2017)

650 whales stranded on New Zealand coast, USA Today (02-11-2017)

Mass Stranding: Hundreds of Pilot Whales Beach Themselves Again; LiveScience (02-11-2017)
NASA scientists have launched a study of a more far-out idea: that solar storms mess with the internal compasses of whales and dolphins, leading to stranding events. Experts at Massey University are expected to undertake animal autopsies, or necropsies, of some of the pilot whales today, according to the DOC.

Mass Strandings of Pilot Whales: A Study, Science Daily (03-14-2013)
Biologists since Aristotle have puzzled over the reasons for mass strandings of whales and dolphins, in which groups of up to several hundred individuals drive themselves up onto a beach…

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-201-2011)

650 whales stranded on New Zealand coast


Beached pilot whales, New Zealand. Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve
“Of all cetaceans – whales and dolphins – pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves. Their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single leader…” Captions: Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan or, The Whale

Excerpts;

A new pod of 240 whales swam aground at a remote New Zealand beach on Saturday just hours after weary volunteers managed to refloat a different group of whales following an earlier mass stranding.

In total, more than 650 pilot whales have beached themselves along a 5 kilometer (3 mile) stretch of coastline over two days on Farewell Spit at the tip of the South Island. About 335 of the whales are dead, 220 remain stranded, and 100 are back at sea…

Read Full Article, USA Today (02-11-2017)

Mass Stranding: Hundreds of Pilot Whales Beach Themselves Again; LiveScience (02-11-2017)
NASA scientists have launched a study of a more far-out idea: that solar storms mess with the internal compasses of whales and dolphins, leading to stranding events. Experts at Massey University are expected to undertake animal autopsies, or necropsies, of some of the pilot whales today, according to the DOC.

As 200 More Whales Are Stranded In New Zealand, Heroics Turn To Heartbreak; NPR (02-11-2017)

More than 400 whales beach themselves in New Zealand, CBS News (02-09-2017)
New Zealand volunteers formed a human chain in the water at a remote beach on Friday as they raced to save dozens of whales after more than 400 of the creatures beached themselves in one of the worst whale strandings in the nation’s history…

337 Whales Beached in Largest Stranding Ever, Patagonia; National Geographic (11-22-2015)

Are Solar Storms Causing Mysterious Sea Animal Beachings?; LiveScience (02-03-2017)
Why do otherwise healthy sea creatures end up stranded along coastal areas around the world? NASA scientists are searching for the answer…

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

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature

Warm Pacific water blamed for vast seabird die-off

plastic-pollution
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A year after tens of thousands of common murres, an abundant North Pacific seabird, starved and washed ashore on beaches from California to Alaska, researchers have pinned the cause to unusually warm ocean temperatures that affected the tiny fish they eat…

Read Full Article, CBS News (02-10-2017)