Tag: marine mammals
Nothing excites whale researchers and whale fanatics more than seeing a new calf born into the pod. However, researchers have learned that calf survival rates are incredibly low, especially for the orca’s first born. The mother’s young calf often dies because of something the mother passes on to her offspring—PCBs.
Lying 28 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the jagged silhouette of the Farallon Islands disrupts the clean line of the horizon. This foreboding knot of rocks sits amid one of the most productive marine food webs on the planet and hosts the largest seabird breeding colony in the continental United States. QUEST ventures out for a rare visit to learn what life is like on the islands and meet the scientists who call this incredibly wild place home.
For these notes, I thought I'd focus on something that didn't make it into the sea lions radio broadcast: the necropsy.
Each year the Marine Mammal Center treats somewhere between 600-1000 animals, including California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, Northern elephant seals, and steller sea lions. About half of them are treated successfully at the center and released into the Pacific. The other half either die naturally or have to be euthanized.