May 13, 2013

Right Whale Die-Off Continues to Puzzle and more wildlife disease news stories


NOAA scientists study diseased corals

A team of government scientists has wrapped up its visit to Kauai to get a look at the island's diseased coral reefs but will be back this summer for a second look...."Their game plan is to come back in a couple months, sometime this summer, to go back to all the same locations to see how much the disease has spread and how many corals it has killed," he said.

Last year, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Hawaii got a look at what is happening in the diseased reefs. In a November 2012 report, Thierry Work, head of infectious disease for USGS, described the rapidly-spreading disease on Kauai as an "epidemic." He said the term still applies.

"It's unlike anything I've seen anywhere else," he told the Garden Island on Tuesday. "What we're seeing here is truly unprecedented."

SF Gate
08 May 2013
Location: Kauai, Hawaii, USA

More Coral Reef News

Right Whale Die-Off Continues to Puzzle

Scientists still don't know why hundreds of baby southern right whales are turning up dead around Patagonia, a decade after observers first saw signs of the worst die-off on record for the species, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

With no evidence of infectious diseases or deadly toxins in whale tissue samples, scientists are scrambling to determine a cause of death. Some are even pointing a finger at blubber-eating birds.

... "The attacks are very painful and cause large, deep lesions, particularly on the backs of young 2-6 week-old calves," the researchers said in a statement from WCS. "This harassment can last for hours at a time. As a result, right whale mothers and their calves are expending much precious energy during a time of year when mothers are fasting and at a site where little to no food is available to replenish fat reserves."
Discovery News
10 May 2013
M Gannon
Location: Patagonia, South America

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