The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
6 Dolphins Stranded on SoCal Beaches in 14 Days
The PMCC has responded to six beached dolphins in just 14 days, it said in a Monday press release. By this time last year, it had only responded to one stranding.
"This drastic and unexpected increase in cetaceans has had a significant impact on our Center. With so many incidents concentrated in such a short period of time, this has taken up much of the attention as well as our resources away from our more 'traditional' animal care operations focused on seals and sea lions," PMMC CEO Peter Chang said.
PMCC is working with scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NOAA certified labs at universities across the country to determine what is causing the uptick in dolphin deaths.
"There are a variety of potential reasons as to why these dolphins are stranding. These include, but are not limited to, viral infections, bacterial infections and toxins," PMCC veterinarian Kristen Sakamaki said.
One source of toxins could be algae blooms that the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) has observed off the coast of Southern California. Algae blooms can release domoic acid, which is poisonous for humans, marine mammals and seabirds.
Another potential source could be the storms and heavy rainfall that Southern California has received this winter, which flushes more excess nutrients and pollutants from land into the oceans.
A study published in April 2018 found that a "whiplash" between extremely wet and extremely dry years would be two times more likely in Southern California by 2100 if nothing is done to mitigate climate change.
Here is the timeline of dolphin strandings that the PMMC responded to during February:
- Feb. 4: Three male Common dolphins beached themselves in one day. One male was found dead on Huntington Beach and two were found alive on Laguna Beach but had to be euthanized later.
- Feb. 10: A pregnant female Bottlenose dolphin washed up dead on Corona Del Mar.
- Feb. 15: A pregnant female Common dolphin was found dead on Corona Del Mar.
- Feb. 18: A male Common dolphin was found on Corona Del Mar.
PMMC said it also received reports of two other dolphins stranded during February, but were unable to respond because the first washed right back to sea and the second washed up in a place where the PMMC could not recover it safely.
Chang said the one bright side of the beachings was that they gave scientists a chance to better understand what is happening to the world's oceans.
"Although absolutely heart-breaking, these stranding events will provide a tremendous amount of information that will not only contribute to important insights into the lives of dolphins, but also, it will help with the overarching science on the changes that we are seeing in our ocean waters," Chang said.
- Why Did 150 Whales Strand Themselves on Australia's Coast? - The ... ›
- Dead and dying dolphins are washing up on California shores ... ›
- Wildlife officials rescue stranded dolphin at Baker Beach | abc7news ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
That salmon sitting in your neighborhood grocery store's fish counter won't look the same to you after watching Artifishal, a new film from Patagonia.
Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.
The U.S Forest Service unveiled a new plan to skirt a major environmental law that requires extensive review for new logging, road building, and mining projects on its nearly 200 million acres of public land. The proposal set off alarm bells for environmental groups, according to Reuters.
By Teju Adisa-Farrar & Raul Garcia
In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."
Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.