Tag Archives: Marine Animals

This Could Be the ‘Beginning of the End’ for North Atlantic Right Whales

right-whale
North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered species in the world. Historically depleted by commercial whaling, they suffers injury and death from ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. Captions and Photo source: NOAA / NEFSC

Excerpts;

Researchers who have been observing migrating North Atlantic right whales, which are endangered, are troubled by what they found this season: no sign of any newborns…

Read Full Article; Livescience (03-27-2018)

Already on Brink, Right Whales Are Pushed Closer to the Edge; Yale E360 (12-07-2017)
North Atlantic right whales are one of the world’s most critically endangered large whales. For a few decades, the math for North Atlantic right whales seemed to be working out, and the whales appeared to be experiencing a tentative recovery. But beginning in 2010, the tiny gains in their numbers began eroding…

US, Canada to investigate deaths of endangered whales; ABC News (08-25-2017)
Marine authorities in the U.S. and Canada said Friday they will marshal resources to try to find out what’s behind a string of deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales…

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

Rescuers scramble to help beached whales after mass stranding in Australia


Beached pilot whales. 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;

More than 140 short-finned pilot whales died after a mass stranding on a beach in Western Australia.

A group of around 150 whales became stranded at Hamelin Bay, around 300 kilometers south of the state’s capital city Perth…

Read Full Article; CNN (03-23-2018)

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)

What makes this New Zealand beach a whale graveyard? BBC News (02-13-2017)

As climate change worsens, king penguins will need to move — or they’ll die

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King Penguins returning to their nests from a swim. Photo courtesy of: ©Joe Kelley

Excerpts;

If we don’t cut greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change, then by the end of the century, 70 percent of king penguins could face a tough decision: either find a new home or die, according to a new study published today in Nature Climate Change

Read Full Article; The Verge (02-26-2018)

Mysterious lives of narwhals


A pod of narwhals from northern Canada. Captions and Photo source: ©© Kristin Laidre / NOAA

Excerpts;

Arctic marine mammals are really good indicators of climate change because they are very specialized. They are finely attuned to specific environmental conditions, thus are good indicator species for how the physical changes many scientists are documenting in the Arctic can reverberate throughout the ecosystem…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (02-09-2018)

Polar bears could become extinct faster than was feared, study says

polar-bears
Photo source: ©© Jidanchaomian

Excerpts;

Polar bears could be sliding towards extinction faster than previously feared, with the animals facing an increasing struggle to find enough food to survive as climate change steadily transforms their environment…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (02-01-2018)

Soul-crushing’ video of starving polar bear exposes climate crisis, experts say; Guardian UK (12-08-2017)
Video footage captured in Canada’s Arctic has offered a devastating look at the impact climate change is having on polar bears in the region…

Busy Times at the World’s Largest Polar Bear Prison; The Atlantic (12-16-2016)
Sea ice has done some extremely odd things in 2016, as climate change is reshaping the Arctic faster than the rest of the planet. According to a new study, there’s a 71 percent chance that the global polar bear population will fall by over 30 percent in the next three decades. The only hope for the polar bear is to reduce carbon emissions, in the hope that the runaway pace of Arctic warming will eventually stabilize and reverse…

Polar Bears Shifting to Areas with More Sea Ice, Genetic Study Reveals; USGS (01-06-2015)
Scientists from around the Arctic have shown that recent generations of polar bears are moving towards areas with more persistent year-round sea ice…

Stranded Polar Bears at Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska; Guardian UK (11-21-2011)
Possibly hundreds of bears are becoming stranded on the coastal plain of North Alaska, because they cannot reach the retreating sea ice. Will Rose and Kajsa Sjölander, captured shots of stranded polar bears as part of “70° North”, a multimedia project documenting the impact of climate change and resources exploration in the Arctic…

Save The Arctic Video, Greenpeace; Greenpeace (09-01-2012)
Greenpeace, Jude Law, Radiohead and hundreds of thousands of people around the world are coming together to demand we save the Arctic from oil drilling, industrial fishing and militarization…

Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study


“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death. Indeed, it is found that debris often accumulates in the animals’ gut and give a false sense of fullness, causing the animal to stop eating and slowly starve to death.” —Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (02-05-2018)

Whale found dying off coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags in its stomach; Telegraph UK (02-03-2017)

Kenya: Marine debris threaten to suffocate sea animals; The Star Kenya (01-24-2017)
Marine researchers spotted a dolphin suffocating in a plastic bag last week in Watamu, Kenya. The incident, the first to be witnessed there, has raised concern on the safety of the millions of sea animals in the Indian Ocean waters due to the increased cases of plastic waste.

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves. The footage shows one way that plastic waste could be entering the marine and global food chain…

Brain damage in fish from plastic nanoparticles in water, Science Daily (09-25-2017)
A new study shows that plastic particles in water may end up inside fish brains. The plastic can cause brain damage, which is the likely cause of behavioral disorders observed in the fish…

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures; Guardian UK (11-15-2017)
The study, led by academics at Newcastle University, found animals from trenches across the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes…

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Independent UK (03-24-2011)

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)
By 2050, nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. Already, 9 out of 10 of the birds have some of the substance in their digestive tracts. Such are the sobering conclusions of a study published August 31 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic; Science Daily (02-27-2015)
Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs…

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics; Duke University (10-24-2017)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016…

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry, The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic, UNEP (02-23-2017)

California sea lion population rebounded to new highs

sea-lion-bb
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

California sea lions have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with their population on the West Coast reaching carrying capacity in 2008 before unusually warm ocean conditions reduced their numbers, according to the first comprehensive population assessment of the species…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (01-17-2018)

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)

Drones confirm importance of Costa Rican waters for sea turtles

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Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs during mass-nesting events at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, making it one of the most important nesting beaches in the world…

A new drone-enabled population survey – the first ever on sea turtles – shows that larger-than-anticipated numbers of turtles aggregate in waters off Costa Rica’s Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Scientists estimate turtle densities may reach up to 2,086 animals per square kilometer. The study underscores the importance of the Ostional habitat; it also confirms that drones are a reliable tool for surveying sea turtle abundance…

Read Full Article, Science Daily
(01-16-2018)

Sea Turtle Egg Poaching Legalized in Costa Rica: The Debate, Coastal Care (07-29-2011)

Stealing Turtle Eggs Got People Shot, But The Thievery Continues; National Geographic Video (12-08-2015)

Saving Mexico’s endangered sea turtles will be good for tourism too, Huffington Green (10-27-2016)

Largest Turtle Breeding Colony in the Atlantic Discovered; Science Daily (06-04-2015)
A huge ground survey covering nearly 600 km of Gabon’s coastline has uncovered the largest breeding colony of olive ridley turtles in the Atlantic…

Rising temperatures turning major sea turtle population female; Science Daily (01-11-2018)

Rising temperatures turning major sea turtle population female

turtles-2
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Scientists have used a new research approach to show that warming temperatures are turning one of the world’s largest sea turtle colonies almost entirely female, running the risk that the colony cannot sustain itself in coming decades, newly published research concludes…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (01-11-2018)

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

Turtles Change Migration Routes Due to Climate Change, IPS News