Billions of starfish destroyed by the climate crisis

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Billions of starfish destroyed by the climate crisis

An article published by the Royal Society tells us how regions with the highest temperatures in seas and oceans reported the fastest and most intense population declines and fewer surviving starfish. This is because of the climate crisis.

The study found that from Baja California, Mexico, to Cape Flattery, Washington state, this species appears to be functionally extinct, with a loss of more than 99.2% of specimens. Serious reductions have also been highlighted from the Salish Sea to the Gulf of Alaska.

Some populations are still found in British Columbia waters. Sara Hamilton, a PhD student at Oregon State University said: "The specimens from the coasts of Mexico and California were wiped out within a couple of months.

In Alaska and British Columbia, where it is much cooler, we still have residual populations. So there is strong evidence that temperature is somehow related to their extinction. " In addition, the researchers added: "Assisted recovery is likely to be needed to restore this predator's functional role on ecologically relevant time scales.

Our analysis raises an urgent alarm for managers, policy makers, conservationists and ocean lovers across the Pacific coast. North American. Without intervention, Pycnopodia is unlikely to return to previous levels."

South Africa: hundreds of Cape fur seal killed by marine nets

According to the first results of a study begun in 2018 to investigate the impact of pollution on bear seal specimens in Namibia, researchers have documented hundreds of dead Cape fur seal strangled by fishing nets or fishing lines.

The project involved the University of Stellenbosch, researchers from the Namibian Dolphin Project and the Ocean Conservation Namibia association. Volunteers from the Ocean Conservation Namibia association have been actively involved in rescuing the trapped animals.

The trapping rate is 1 in every 500 animals. Of the 347 trapped animals recorded by researchers between 2018 and March 2020, only 191 were rescued and survived after the cares. Tess Gridley, co-director of the Namibia Dolphin Project, said: "Once trapped, these animals face an uncertain and very painful future.

Finding food becomes much more difficult, injuries from fishing nets can become deep and debilitating. and in many cases cause death. Plastic pollution, and especially fishing accessories lost at sea, have a huge impact on the marine ecosystem: a change in policy is needed, such as the provision of incentives to collect dispersed networks, but also the use of alternative materials to plastic."

Cape fur seal is not an endangered species, but plastic pollution and the presence of objects used for fishing are causing death and suffering for these beautiful animals. Biology of the Cape fur seal Cape fur seal has a big and wide head and a pointed snout.

Males range in color from brown to dark gray, but have a darker mane and light underparts. They reach 2.2 m in length and weigh 200–360 kg. The color of the females varies between gray and light brown; the lower regions are dark, while the throat is clear.

They measure 1.7 m in length and weigh an average of 120 kg. At birth, the cubs are black, but turn gray with pale throats after moulting. Cape fur seals feed mainly on bony fish, but also on cephalopods, crustaceans and even birds.

The Australian subspecies feeds on the bottom of the continental shelf, while the African subspecies feeds on the open ocean. Australian fur seals were hunted in large numbers for commercial purposes between 1798 and 1825.

This hunting was only banned in 1923 and the populations of these pinnipeds are still recovering. Breeding sites are protected by law. However, the Tasmanian government, in October 2000, authorized the killing of harmful sea lions. The South African fur seals, despite the annual slaughter, still enjoy a very large and healthy population.