More and more abandoned animals are being spotted off the California coast, some dying.
Sea lions and dolphins off the central coast of California are dying en masse. Gizmodo wrote that researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have asked vacationers to report seeing stranded animals.
Scientists believe that the cause of the mass epidemic of marine animals may be poisonous algae offshore – they are the ones that force sea lions and dolphins to wash ashore and sometimes kill them.
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A recent NOAA Department of Fisheries report says the Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute has already received more than 1,000 reports of sick or dead mammals, between 8 and 14 June alone. According to Ruth Dover, co-founder and managing director of the Wildlife Institute, she and her colleagues process around 200 reports of endangered animals every day. Currently, researchers are trying to do everything possible to prevent the mass extinction of mammals.
Researchers believe Pseudon-nitzschia algae blooming off the coast of California create a “death trap” in which animals fall. The fact is that these algae create a neurotoxin called domoic acid, and its high concentrations in water have already been found on coasts from Orange County to San Luis Obispo County. This is evidenced by data from the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observation System. High concentrations of neurotoxins are observed especially in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
Exposure to domoic acid is known to make animals lethargic and disoriented. Mammals experience nausea, convulsions, and many even die. The scientists note that animals are at risk as the acid enters their food chains – smaller fish are infected and then swallowed by sea lions and dolphins.
The researchers also state that this situation does not threaten the local population as long as there is no domoic acid in human food. Experts also appealed to local residents and vacationers with a request to contact experts immediately if they spot an animal thrown on the beach. Also, scientists advise to stay away from such mammals.
The truth is that if the animals are found in time, this will give them hope of survival – timely treatment will help reverse the effects of the toxin. But some sea lions and dolphins may have to live with brain damage and memory loss.
Note that algal blooms occur naturally, but climate change is still contributing to the creation of favorable conditions for dangerous eruptions. NOAA researchers report that rising average ocean temperatures are causing algal blooms to increase, which in turn exposes more sea lions and dolphins to the neurotoxin.
Previously Focus He wrote that something was causing the fish to leave their “home” and move towards the poles.
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