ENENews: 10,000 baby sea lions dead on one California island

10,000 baby sea lions dead on one California island — Experts: “It’s getting crazy… This is a crisis… Never seen anything like it… Very difficult to see so much death” — TV: “Numbers skyrocketing at alarming rates” — “Woman is burying the rotting mammals” after digging graves at beach (VIDEOS)
Published: March 16th, 2015 at 10:40 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/experts-10000-baby-sea-lions-dead-one-california-island-getting-crazy-very-difficult-death-crisis-tv-numbers-skyrocketing-alarming-rates-woman-digging-graves-beach-bury-dead-bodies-videos

NBC L.A., Mar 12, 2015 (emphasis added): “The sea lion emergency is back all along the California shore“… [Pups] are washing ashore at a rate so alarming, rescuers said Thursday, this year is the worst yet… more than 1,600 marine mammals [have been picked up].

KTLA, Mar 10, 2015: Stranding numbers for the months of January and February were more than 20 times the average [said NOAA].

ABC 10 News, Mar 14, 2015: Friday, Konnie Martinkis was burying her third sea lion… There were at least five within just more than a football field’s length that were dead… she contacted the city… but it just decomposed as more showed up… she will continue building those graves.

Coast News, Mar 12, 2015: [NOAA] said not to feed it [that] will only prolong the animals suffering.

KABC: Numbers are skyrocketing at alarming rates…Sunday, six sea lions were found dead

NY Times, Mar 12, 2015: “It’s getting crazy,” [Wendy Leeds, animal-care expert at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center] said… Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist with [NOAA said] “We do expect the population to take a drop… probably a really good hit”… Michele Hunter, the center’s director of animal care, said, “It’s very difficult to see so much death.”

Sacramento Bee, Mar 7, 2015: Tens of thousands of pups birthed last summer are believed to be dying on the islands… some [are] desperately trying to climb onto small boats or kayaks… Scientists noted a worrisome anomaly in 2013, when 1,171 famished pups were stranded… scientists blamed the phenomenon on unseasonably cold waters… On San Miguel… Melin said researchers believe “probably close to 10,000 are dead, and we expect more to die over coming months”… the mortality rate is similar on San Nicolas.

(Image Courtesy Sacremento Bee)

Time: Experts at NOAA say that the culprit is rising ocean temperatures [note “unseasonably cold” ocean temps were the culprit during the record strandings in 2013]… a NOAA climate expert said that they do not believe the stranding increase is tied to climate change.

Marine Mammal Center, Mar 5, 2015: It’s clear these sea lions are trying to tell us something. Their very presence here in such great numbers at this time of year is sounding an alarm up and down the coast… it signals something complex happening in our ocean… sea lions are very sensitive to their environment… alerting us to major changes in the ocean… The scene on the Channel Islands this year is grave, worse even than what researchers saw in 2012, before the Unusual Mortality Event in 2013… “What’s scary is that we don’t know when this will end,” says Dr. Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at The Marine Mammal Center. “This could be the new normal—a changed environment that we’re dealing with now.”

LA Daily News, Mar 13, 2015: “By the end of January, we had as many as we did in (all of) 2013,” [Marine Mammal Care Center’s David Bard] said… “We’ve never seen anything like this with back-to-back events that are affecting the same part of the population,” Melin said.

Dr. Melin: “Based on what we are seeing… we should be bracing for a lot more animals”

CBS Los Angeles, Mar 9, 2015: [California Wildlife Center’s Jeff Hall] says the event has escalated into a crisis. “I would personally consider this a crisis,” Hall said… The epidemic has prompted a number of volunteers to step forward, including… television personality Kat Von D [who said] “I think there’s a lack of awareness of what’s going on in the environment.”

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ENENews: ABC: ‘Mysterious surge’ in sick marine mammals all along California coast — Infested with parasites, extremely emaciated; “Very seriously ill… in very bad shape” — Experts: “We’re extremely concerned right now” — Deaths up 1,500% at rescue facility — ‘Number mystifies officials’

ABC: ‘Mysterious surge’ in sick marine mammals all along California coast — Infested with parasites, extremely emaciated; “Very seriously ill… in very bad shape” — Experts: “We’re extremely concerned right now” — Deaths up 1,500% at rescue facility — ‘Number mystifies officials’ (VIDEOS)
Published: January 13th, 2015 at 2:21 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/abc-mysterious-surge-sick-sea-lions-all-along-california-coast-experts-extremely-concerned-tv-infested-parasites-very-seriously-ill-very-bad-shape-death-rate-1500-top-animal-hospital-videos

Orange County Register, Jan 10, 2015 (emphasis added): 8 sea lions rescued in OC in just over a week; number mystifies officials — It’s not normal for eight sea lions to need rescuing in just over a week — especially at this time of year. But that’s exactly what has happened… six were pups and yearlings… [one] only 21 pounds, and [another] 23 pounds… [Experts don’t] know why it’s happening.

CAL SLs

ABC 7′s Greg Lee, Jan 12, 2015: Sad, sad photo: Huge increase in rescued #sealions across CA

MMCSF MMCCLA

ABC Los Angeles, Jan 12, 2015: Sea lions in distress — a mysterious surge in sick sea lions… here in S. California and statewide… New at 5, a big increase in the number of stranded sea lions being rescued… Some of them very seriously ill… nearly a dozen sea lions at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Facilities across California are reporting a massive increase in the number of sea lions needing to be rescued in 2015… Baby sea lions [are] in very bad shape.

Kirsten Sedlick, PMMC supervisor: We’re extremely concerned right now, absolutely. It’s not just us, it’s other stranding networks, we’re all very concerned…Since January 1st, we’ve had 11 stranded California sea lions; last January we had 4 total [On pace for 30 in January, over 7 times last year’s total]… They are extremely emaciated, we’ve noticed there’s been a high parasite infestation in them as well and some upper respiratory infections.

NBC Los Angeles: Jan 12, 2015: More and more ailing sea lions are showing up along California shores. Marine mammal centers say this is well above normal. What’s making these sea lions so sick?… Experts say this is a year they are concerned about a UME… an unusual mortality event. They arrive malnourished and with parasites. Workers at the PMMC are treating twice as many California sea lions as a year ago… We know there was a conference call among all of the stranding sites up and down the coast here in California. The consensus is that this is happening all over the state.

In the first 9 days of 2015, 20 patients were admitted to the Marine Mammal Care Center near L.A. If this rate of 2.22/day continues, January’s total will be ~70 — over 5 times Jan 2014. At the Marine Mammal Center in the Bay Area, 15 patients died in just over a month at the end of 2014. The previous year saw one death in the same period.

ABC here: http://abc7.com/pets/increase-in-sick-sea-lions-may-be-caused-by-storms-strong-surf/472796/

NBC here: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/sick-sea-lions-southern-california-beaches-pacific-ocean-el-nino-288347961.html