Record Sea Lion Pup Strandings Reported In Southern California
By Marty Graham
SAN DIEGO, Jan 28 (Reuters) – California sea lions – mainly pups – are turning up stranded and starved on Southern California beaches in record numbers this year, leaving experts worried that this winter may be the worst season ever documented for the marine mammals.
The precise cause is not clear, but scientists believe the sea lions are suffering from a scarcity of natural prey that forces nursing mothers to venture farther out to sea for food, leaving their young behind for longer periods of time.
Experts theorize that this winter’s mild El Nino effect, which alters ocean currents and temperatures, may be compounding the shortage of fish that sea lions rely on for food, said Keith Matassa, executive director of the nonprofit Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. —> Read More Here