health

Marine birds become a rare sight as West Coast animal populations continue to collapse


Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Whooping cough outbreak at Massachusetts high school affected only vaccinated students

Delicious
(NaturalNews) Various types of marine life are vanishing off the West Coast, some of them in droves, including marine birds, sea lions, forage fish and sea stars. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been accused of failing to recognize a sharp decline in the number of forage fish, such as Pacific sardines, due to overfishing.

While the cause of the massive die-off of sea stars is still widely unknown, researchers theorize that a pathogen may be responsible, but for the marine birds and sea lions that are perishing, a depleted forage fish population may be to blame.

White-winged scoters, surf scoters, long-tailed ducks, murres, loons and some seagulls are experiencing dramatic population decreases according to Washington Fish and Wildlife workers.

Several species of marine birds have declined over the last few decades. Scoter populations are down 75 percent since the 1970s, with murres and western grebes bordering extinction, according to The Seattle Times.

Last year, EcoWatch reported that more than 1,600 sea lions washed up either dead or close to it along the shores of Southern Calif. An unprecedented number of sea lion pups washed ashore emaciated, dehydrated and severely underweight. Many of the pups were discovered near Santa Barbara, San Diego and Orange, Calif., a region also experiencing massive sea star die-offs.

This year, NOAA has reported even more stranded pups in central, southern and northern Calif., and opposed to last year, the agency has admitted that the cause is mostly likely due to an unavailable food source. Sea lion pups and nursing mothers depend on a nutrient-rich diet acquired through fatty forage fish like sardines.

The same may be true for marine birds. New studies indicate a decline in marine birds could be related to a lack in forage fish including herring, anchovies, sand lance and surf smelt. Due to diverse migratory patterns, the relationship between marine birds and the food they eat is rather complex.

Exhaustive analysis of bird diets and population trends, as reported by The Seattle Times, found that the birds which dive for forage fish like herring were 16 times more likely to be affected by dwindling populations than birds that eat surface-dwelling fish.

"The result was remarkably strong," said study author Ignacio Vilchis, formerly with the SeaDoc Society at the University of California, Davis. "It showed that it's the diving birds that go after forage fish which are much more likely to have a declining trend."

Forage fish, particularly herring, are the cornerstone of the ocean's inhabitants, providing food to a variety of species including whales, dolphins, birds, sea lions and other fish.

"They are the central node of the marine ecosystem," said Iain McKechnie, a coastal archaeologist with the University of British Columbia. "They aren't the base, they aren't the top, but they are the thing through which everything else flows."

Centuries ago, Native Americans living along the Northwestern coast also relied heavily upon herring, a crucial food source for the indigenous people. Back then, herring populations were far more stable than they are today.

McKechnie recently found that herring used to live eight to 10 years but now survive for only three or four years, inhibiting their ability to replenish their populations.

While marine birds have declined in the past in similar regions, researchers ponder whether or not they'll make a comeback this time. "If that part of the food web is in decline, there may be a food problem for some birds," Mckechnie said.

In March of this year, the NOAA reported the sardine population to have declined by 74 percent since 2007, with no sign of recovery, but the agency has done nothing to encourage stricter fishing regulations.

Additional sources:

http://seattletimes.com

http://www.allgov.com

http://ecowatch.com

http://wa.audubon.org

http://science.naturalnews.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.