California sea lion pups born at Channel Islands rookeries appear to be in better condition this year after four years of mass strandings and mortalities. Poor pup conditions and low birth rates were associated with warm ocean temperatures and lack of food, and cooling water temperatures this year may be the reason for the improvement. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center has been a leader in the rescue and rehabilitation efforts of the stranded sea lions and are still prepared to respond to any sea lion strandings that occur this year because, although water temperatures are down significantly, waters from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border are still a degree above normal. Researchers are hopeful that if conditions continue to improve, a huge stranding event may not ensue for the first time in several years.
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Submitted by club member:
Beluga Blog is a space for MMRT to share club activities throughout the year and interesting marine mammals news shared by our very own club members!