Starving Seabirds Wash Ashore Dead On Pacific Coast

A rhinoceros auklet found dead at Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge.

Seabirds have been washing up dead on beaches in Washington and British Columbia this summer. Something is taking a toll on a funny-sounding, peculiar-looking seabird.

Julia Parrish studies seabirds at the University of Washington. She says volunteer beach-watchers on the Olympic Peninsula and across the water in Victoria have seen dozens of auklets wash up dead.

A few of the bodies have been sent off to a federal forensics lab.

“These birds are severely emaciated. So they starved to death,” Parrish said.

But scientists don’t know yet why the birds starved. They’re working to answer that question.

Over the past two years, other species of seabirds were found dead by the hundreds of thousands on the west coast. So this summer’s dieoff is much smaller by comparison. So far.

“If we ignore it, and only pay attention when it’s really dire, then it’s often too late to do anything about it,” Parrish said.

Last year and the year before, warmer waters left seabirds with fewer of their favorite fish to eat. Parrish says it was like going to the grocery store and only finding rice cakes.

The Pacific has cooled off a bit since then, but it’s still warmer than normal, and the ocean forecast is for more of the same through next year.

Original Article:http://nwpr.org/post/starving-seabirds-washing-dead-washington-beaches

Read More:Cataclysmic Pacific Die-Off Continues As Prawn And Cormorants Wash Ashore In The Thousands

Read More:We Are So Close: Giant ‘Lava Lamp Blobs’ Of Molten Magma In Pacific Have Main Stream Scientists Baffled

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: