Large numbers of Guadalupe fur seals dying off California

2015-09-29 20:01
Fur seal (AP)

Fur seal (AP)

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Los Angeles - Federal officials are trying to determine why endangered Guadalupe fur seals have been stranding themselves and dying along the California coast, hundreds of km from their usual habitat.

NOAA Fisheries announced this week that approximately 80 fur seals have come ashore in California since January - about eight times more than normal. The deaths have led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare an "unusual mortality event" for the animals.

Guadalupe fur seals breed almost entirely on Guadalupe Island near Baja California, Mexico, more than 800km from where they are stranding in California.

Hunting brought the species to near extinction in the late 1800s, but it had been slowly recovering.

Read more on:    noaa  |  us  |  marine life

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