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the other day i took a look at this blog & honestly i havent seen such a better random rants.
there’s no logics in it. oh how much i love disorder, jus imagine you could stay in bed as much as you like then go to work whenever you have nothing else to do & you could do anything sometimes be a boss sometimes a bus driver, sometimes a pilot sometimes a polarbear, or….. probably an angel. well but i better play my role as hellboy aka son-in-law.
now i can see the point clearly, point of what?!?! the undeniable fact that i miss my in-laws, how dare they left us to enjoy themselves in another village not too far from here. you have no idea how good it is to have your breakfast fixed while you have more time to stay in bed. i love mom-in-law when she treats us like naughty kids that shouldnt get into the kitchen cos there’d be a mess after they leave (& to some extent it’s true )
im quite blank tonight & feel better with a headache cuased by lack of sleep, so i wanna go to bed & make you read a very very very heart-breaking news about wild life here, sleep tight hellboy & dont try to walk around drinking blood, d’ahhhh!

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Why are they dying?

More dead sea otters are being found near Homer, and lethal bacteria are linked to deaths

Published: September 27, 2006
Last Modified: September 27, 2006 at 09:33 AM

Thin and listless, the sea otter washed ashore the morning of Sept. 19 by Homer’s Land’s End Resort. Struggling to breathe, it appeared partially paralyzed.

By 9:47 a.m., a phone call came in to Homer resident Cy St-Amand, who with his wife L.A. Holmes volunteers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor and pick up stranded marine mammals.
As he has done countless times before, St-Amand arrived on the scene, observed the animal’s behavior, scooped the otter up and began the 173-mile drive to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward for treatment.
Unfortunately, St-Amand said, the otter displayed the classic symptoms of a deadly bacterial infection linked to a die-off in Kachemak Bay. Fish and Wildlife calls such die-offs “Unusual Mortality Events” or UMEs, and this one has attracted the attention of national sea otter experts.
No one knows exactly how severe the Kachemak Bay die-off is, Doroff said, but the anecdotal evidence is troubling. Over the years, reports of washed-up otters, either dead or nearly dead, have increased along the Homer Spit and surrounding area.
In Southwest Alaska, the population has declined by more than 90 percent in portions of the Aleutian Island chain and along the southern Alaska Peninsula since the late 1980s. Last August, the Southwest population of northern sea otters was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The problem is just as perplexing. Gill said sea otters may die or wash up on beaches for many reasons, including disease, boat strikes, starvation or other injuries. But in Kachemak Bay, an unusually high number of these dead animals have been diagnosed with the bacterium Streptococcus bovis, which can block arteries in different parts of the body, often near the hip, causing the telltale paralysis St-Amand often sees in otters he retrieves.
The last survey of the Kachemak Bay sea otters, in 2002, estimated the population at nearly 1,000 animals. No one knows how the current die-off has affected the population.
Doroff said federal experts help by providing information that can link necropsy results with studies on the wild population. Also, the experts will help conduct new population surveys to monitor the population trend over time. That information will give Fish and Wildlife a better idea of the extent of the problem, Doroff said.
“We don’t know if they are dying from the bacteria or if the bacteria is secondary to another problem,” Gill said.
According to Gill’s research, sea otters whose deaths have been linked to Streptococcus have been found from Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutians to Homer’s Kachemak Bay.
Whether this is a product of more human eyes spotting the otters or a problem specific to the bay is unknown, Doroff said. Still, the high mortality and the conditions under which the animals are dying prompt concern, she said.
“It’s … never a good sign to see prime-aged animals dying,” Doroff said. “Your typical mortality pattern includes very young or very old animals. But what we’re seeing is a lot of prime-aged animal not making it.”
In Gill’s study of 147 animals:
• 72 percent of the affected animals were male;
• 44 percent were considered of prime age, between 4 and 10 years old.
“Having a large proportion of animals die of a single infectious disease … suggests … the introduction of a ‘new’ disease into a previously naive population,” she wrote in her study. The study continues, Doroff said, and now numbers about 190 animals.

ON THE SCENE
Sept. 19’s stranding call left St-Amand sitting at the end of the Homer Spit, trying to decide if he should wait out one tide cycle to observe the otter, as is protocol in the Fish and Wildlife’s stranding network, or take the animal in immediately.
His experience prevailed. The animal was too skinny, too debilitated to help itself, he said. Fish and Wildlife officials asked him to pick it up immediately and deliver it to veterinarians at the Alaska SeaLife Center, who work with Fish and Wildlife and stranding volunteers to care for injured and sick marine mammals.
“I’m transferring (the otter) from a pickup that we use to pick the otters off the beach with to a Dodge Caravan that has air conditioning,” he explained as he drove toward Seward. “We want them to be in a quiet environment without any jarring, and we provide them with ice and water so they can rehydrate themselves. Otters are very finicky on their heat transport, especially when they’re sick.”
Tim Lebling, rehabilitation technician at the SeaLife Center, said 12 animals have been brought to the center so far this year, although they expect more as winter arrives and otters congregate in the bay.
Last year, they received 16. In 2004, there were six; in 2002, four.
The figures represent animals found alive, he pointed out. Animals found dead often are stored in freezers until necropsies can be performed, or are sent to Fish and Wildlife offices in Anchorage.
None of the animals with the bacterial infection survived, he said, including St-Amand’s rescue on Sept. 19.
FASCINATING FURBALLS
It’s easy to look at an otter and go, “awwww” as if cooing over a baby. They’re cute. They’re comical. They have large brown eyes that always seem to be looking straight at you. They seem to be eating all the time. They are the only marine mammal without a layer of blubber to protect them, depending instead on their thick fur coats and overactive metabolisms to stay warm.
But — and on this point Gill, St-Amand and Doroff agree — they are also a critical piece to the health of the marine ecosystem.
“Sea otters are a keystone species on the near shore, which means they radically change the invertebrate fauna,” Doroff said. “This in turn makes a much more rich and diverse near-shore system that is much more sustainable over the long haul.”
The most disturbing thing St-Amand hears in Homer is that sea otters are pests who eat the shellfish humans eat too — including dungeness crabs, clams and mussels. But those critics are missing the larger picture, he said.
“Sea otters eat sea urchins, and sea urchins eat kelp,” he said. “Without sea otters, sea urchin numbers increase and they graze off kelp, and without kelp your biodiversity plummets. An otter, contrary to what people believe, allows the kelp to grow.”
And when the kelp grows, Doroff said, the ecosystem is healthy, supporting fish eggs, herring and countless invertebrates that are food to seabird, shorebirds, fish and marine mammals.
“One of the things that is very alarming about the Aleutians and Southern Alaska is that we’ve lost our kelp beds in the areas of sea otter decline,” Doroff said. “The otter populations are still present in low densities but not high enough to keep these large kelp beds present and healthy. The whole carbon cycle has been changed dramatically by the absence of those beds.”

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3 Comments

  1. I would love to wake up and do whatever I want, be whatever I want. If I had the choice would I go to work? No. I would probably prefer to stay at home and blog all day 🙂

  2. I love my job, therefore I would work. But everybody knows I am a ‘work queer’, cause the Bastard told on me.

  3. bablefish, completely agree, but i guess we need money to continue our physical life, so let’s only dream of that day
    sandra, i wasnt talking to “work queers” they’re real ……… 🙂


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