December 2, 2020 By Paul Rogers Mercury News
In the 1980s and 90s, it was a grim trend off Northern California’s coastline: Hundreds of harbor porpoises, shy marine mammals that look like small dolphins, were killed every year in huge gill nets used by commercial fishermen.
September 17, 2020 By Nancy Averett Hakai Magazine
Some marine mammals carry gene mutations that could make them more susceptible than humans to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus at the heart of the ongoing pandemic. If these marine mammals get infected, the results could be devastating—more than half of the species predicted to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 are already at risk of extinction.
August 7, 2020 By Bradley van Paridon Hakai Magazine
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is a reminder of the devastation disease outbreaks can cause. But such disasters do not only affect humans. New research led by Claire Sanderson, a wildlife epidemiologist and immunologist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, shows that disease outbreaks among marine mammals have quietly been on the rise.
May 11, 2020 By Larry Pynn Hakai Magazine
The ongoing recovery of the endangered Guadalupe fur seal is one of the feel-good nature stories of North America. Thought to have been driven extinct in the 1800s because of hunting for its fur, a remnant population survived. The species now numbers as many as 40,000—mainly off Baja Mexico and California. But jubilation over the recovery is tempered by the fact that fur seals are washing ashore dead or dying.