Sea Lion Strandings Climb, Scientists Still Stumped
by Megan Gannon
Scientists still don’t know why nearly 1,300 sickly sea lions have beached themselves on the shores of southern California since the beginning of the year. However, they think some weird oceanic phenomenon may be blocking off the sea lion pups’ source of food, scientists reported today (April 17).
The stranded sea lions — mostly pups born last summer— are typically turning up alive, but severely emaciated, some weighing less than 20 pounds (9 kg) when they should be well over 50 pounds (22 kg), marine officials say.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared an “unusual mortality event” last month in light of the spike in strandings. Since the beginning of the year, 1,293 sea lions have washed ashore from San Diego County to Santa Barbara County…
(read more: Live Science)              
(photo: Pacific Marine Mammal Center)

Sea Lion Strandings Climb, Scientists Still Stumped

by Megan Gannon

Scientists still don’t know why nearly 1,300 sickly sea lions have beached themselves on the shores of southern California since the beginning of the year. However, they think some weird oceanic phenomenon may be blocking off the sea lion pups’ source of food, scientists reported today (April 17).

The stranded sea lions — mostly pups born last summer— are typically turning up alive, but severely emaciated, some weighing less than 20 pounds (9 kg) when they should be well over 50 pounds (22 kg), marine officials say.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared an “unusual mortality event” last month in light of the spike in strandings. Since the beginning of the year, 1,293 sea lions have washed ashore from San Diego County to Santa Barbara County…

(read more: Live Science)              

(photo: Pacific Marine Mammal Center)

The Hawaiian monk seal, Monachus schauinslandi
… is a critically endangered species of earless seal in the family Phocidae that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. They are solitary animals, like some monks. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of two remaining monk seal species; the other is the Mediterranean monk seal. A third species, the Caribbean monk seal, is extinct. The small population of about 1,100 individuals is threatened by human encroachment, very low levels of genetic variation, entanglement in fishing nets, marine debris, disease, and past commercial hunting for skins…
(read more: Wikipedia)                      (photo: Kent Backman)

The Hawaiian monk seal, Monachus schauinslandi

… is a critically endangered species of earless seal in the family Phocidae that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. They are solitary animals, like some monks. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of two remaining monk seal species; the other is the Mediterranean monk seal. A third species, the Caribbean monk seal, is extinct. The small population of about 1,100 individuals is threatened by human encroachment, very low levels of genetic variation, entanglement in fishing nets, marine debris, disease, and past commercial hunting for skins…

(read more: Wikipedia)                      (photo: Kent Backman)

Bearded seal spotted on Shetland
Following the recent sighting of a walrus on the Orkney Islands a few weeks ago, a bearded seal, usually only found in the Arctic, has appeared on Shetland.The bearded seal has been seen intermittently over the last week or so, mostly near the salmon farm in Basta Voe, on the island of Yell…
(read more: Wildlife Extra)           (photo: George Petrie)

Bearded seal spotted on Shetland

Following the recent sighting of a walrus on the Orkney Islands a few weeks ago, a bearded seal, usually only found in the Arctic, has appeared on Shetland.The bearded seal has been seen intermittently over the last week or so, mostly near the salmon farm in Basta Voe, on the island of Yell…

(read more: Wildlife Extra)           (photo: George Petrie)

A bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) resting on melting sea ice beneath storm clouds in Spitsbergen Island, Svalbard, Norway. The bearded seal is one of the two species of far-north seals that are victims of disappearing sea ice and dwindling snowpack in their Arctic habitat, and will be granted protections under the US Endangered Species Act, federal officials announced.
(via: Guaradian UK)                             (photo: Alamy)

A bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) resting on melting sea ice beneath storm clouds in Spitsbergen Island, Svalbard, Norway. The bearded seal is one of the two species of far-north seals that are victims of disappearing sea ice and dwindling snowpack in their Arctic habitat, and will be granted protections under the US Endangered Species Act, federal officials announced.

(via: Guaradian UK)                             (photo: Alamy)

Harp Seal, Prince Edward Isld. Nat. Park, Canada
This adorable newborn harp seal was left alone on sea-ice in Canada on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. At about three weeks old, the young pup was weaned but not quite ready to head out on its own, leaving it very vulnerable to predation. 


Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal breeding grounds are being lost in the North Atlantic and Arctic. 
“Every March, up to 200,000 harp seal pups are born on sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due to a warmer winter climate resulted in hundreds of seal pups being washed up on the shore of Prince Edward Island. Like many, this young seal faced an uncertain future. Nearly three weeks old, it was weaned but not yet ready to swim on its own, leaving it vulnerable to predation or drowning. For me, this image expresses the vulnerability of not only this individual, but the entire harp seal population.”
— Nature’s Best Photographer, John Sylvester
(via: Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal)

Harp Seal, Prince Edward Isld. Nat. Park, Canada

This adorable newborn harp seal was left alone on sea-ice in Canada on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. At about three weeks old, the young pup was weaned but not quite ready to head out on its own, leaving it very vulnerable to predation.

Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal breeding grounds are being lost in the North Atlantic and Arctic. 

“Every March, up to 200,000 harp seal pups are born on sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due to a warmer winter climate resulted in hundreds of seal pups being washed up on the shore of Prince Edward Island. Like many, this young seal faced an uncertain future. Nearly three weeks old, it was weaned but not yet ready to swim on its own, leaving it vulnerable to predation or drowning. For me, this image expresses the vulnerability of not only this individual, but the entire harp seal population.”

— Nature’s Best Photographer, John Sylvester

(via: Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal)

Pacific Walrus 


The Pacific walrus faces warming temperatures and a loss of its habitat. These walruses depend on sea ice to birth and take care of their young, but melting glaciers means that they have to venture onto land for food, which can often lead to overcrowding and stampedes, according to the National Wildlife Federation. While the current size of the walrus population is unknown, it was last estimated to be about 129,000 in a 2006 survey.
Photo: Rodney Ungwiluk, Jr. Photography via Getty Images
(via: TakePart.org)
Pacific Walrus

The Pacific walrus faces warming temperatures and a loss of its habitat. These walruses depend on sea ice to birth and take care of their young, but melting glaciers means that they have to venture onto land for food, which can often lead to overcrowding and stampedes, according to the National Wildlife Federation. While the current size of the walrus population is unknown, it was last estimated to be about 129,000 in a 2006 survey.

Photo: Rodney Ungwiluk, Jr. Photography via Getty Images

(via: TakePart.org)


Baby Boom at American Zoos:  Harbor Seal

A juvenile harbor seal had a rough start to life. Found off the coast of Delaware, he was suffering from abrasions and a severe respiratory infection.
Thanks to round-the-clock care provided by dedicated staff at the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program, he is now on the mend. He has been enjoying a hearty diet of smelt and herring fish.

(via: Discovery News)     
(photo: National Aquarium/MARP )

Baby Boom at American Zoos:  Harbor Seal

A juvenile harbor seal had a rough start to life. Found off the coast of Delaware, he was suffering from abrasions and a severe respiratory infection.

Thanks to round-the-clock care provided by dedicated staff at the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program, he is now on the mend. He has been enjoying a hearty diet of smelt and herring fish.

(via: Discovery News)    
(photo: National Aquarium/MARP )
Hundreds of Starving Baby Sea Lions Wash Ashore in Mysterious Mass Stranding
By Nadia Drake
It began in January. At first, there were only a few. But as the weeks went on, more sea lion pups washed ashore. The dehydrated, emaciated pups showed up on Southern California’s beaches, tucked under trucks and lifeguard towers. One was found huddled in a flower pot.

In late January, scientists surveying Channel Island sea lion rookiers reported something worrying: Pups out there were in bad shape. By early February, regional marine mammal rescue centers were concerned. The strandings hadn’t stopped. Instead, the pace was picking up.
Now, hundreds of these little animals have been admitted to rescue centers between Santa Barbara and San Diego. For a non-El Niño year, the numbers are much too high, too early. Something is going badly wrong offshore, and no one knows what it is yet…
(read more: Wired Science)              (photo: PMMC)

Hundreds of Starving Baby Sea Lions Wash Ashore in Mysterious Mass Stranding

By Nadia Drake

It began in January. At first, there were only a few. But as the weeks went on, more sea lion pups washed ashore. The dehydrated, emaciated pups showed up on Southern California’s beaches, tucked under trucks and lifeguard towers. One was found huddled in a flower pot.

In late January, scientists surveying Channel Island sea lion rookiers reported something worrying: Pups out there were in bad shape. By early February, regional marine mammal rescue centers were concerned. The strandings hadn’t stopped. Instead, the pace was picking up.

Now, hundreds of these little animals have been admitted to rescue centers between Santa Barbara and San Diego. For a non-El Niño year, the numbers are much too high, too early. Something is going badly wrong offshore, and no one knows what it is yet…

(read more: Wired Science)              (photo: PMMC)

Seals or Sea Lions?


Seals and sea lions have many similarities, and are in the same family, the Pinnipeds, but they lead very different lives. Seals are generally smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to 2,200 pounds. Seals also are suited to spend more time in the water than sea lions, which can “walk” on shore with their large flippers and spend time in large social groups. Another give-away is that sea lions have external ear flaps, whereas seals don’t have external ears—if you look closely you can see tiny ear holes.
These two are sea lions. (See the ear flaps?) 
(via: Smithsonian Ocean Portal)           (photo: Wildstanimal | Flickr)

Seals or Sea Lions?

Seals and sea lions have many similarities, and are in the same family, the Pinnipeds, but they lead very different lives. Seals are generally smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to 2,200 pounds. Seals also are suited to spend more time in the water than sea lions, which can “walk” on shore with their large flippers and spend time in large social groups. Another give-away is that sea lions have external ear flaps, whereas seals don’t have external ears—if you look closely you can see tiny ear holes.

These two are sea lions. (See the ear flaps?) 

(via: Smithsonian Ocean Portal)           (photo: Wildstanimal | Flickr)

This Rare Fucking Seal Climbs onto Seattle Woman’s Dock
by Andrea Mustain
A Seattle resident recently got a big surprise when she discovered a strange-looking furry visitor on her property.

"She woke up and it was lying on her dock, hanging out and sleeping — just chilling," said Matthew Cleland, district supervisor in western Washington for the USDA’s Wildlife Services, and the recipient of a photo of the bizarre intruder.

"I thought, ‘That’s an interesting-looking creature,’” Cleland told OurAmazingPlanet. “I had no idea what it was.”


A quick glance through a book in his office soon revealed it was a ribbon seal, an Arctic species that spends most of its life at sea, swimming the frigid waters off Alaska and Russia…
(read more: OurAmazingPlanet)                       (photo: LDA)

This Rare Fucking Seal Climbs onto Seattle Woman’s Dock

by Andrea Mustain

A Seattle resident recently got a big surprise when she discovered a strange-looking furry visitor on her property.

"She woke up and it was lying on her dock, hanging out and sleeping — just chilling," said Matthew Cleland, district supervisor in western Washington for the USDA’s Wildlife Services, and the recipient of a photo of the bizarre intruder.

"I thought, ‘That’s an interesting-looking creature,’” Cleland told OurAmazingPlanet. “I had no idea what it was.”

A quick glance through a book in his office soon revealed it was a ribbon seal, an Arctic species that spends most of its life at sea, swimming the frigid waters off Alaska and Russia…

(read more: OurAmazingPlanet)                       (photo: LDA)