10 dead gray whales have washed up in the San Francisco Bay area since March.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that authorities are still trying to figure out whether they can reach the whale to determine how it died.
Out of the nine other whales examined, one was too decomposed to determine the cause of death, four died from malnutrition, and the other four were fatally struck by ships.
The Marine Mammal Center posted a statement saying there has been an increase in the number of gray whales being seen in the San Francisco Bay area, but ocean conditions and food sources have been affected by climate change.
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10 dead whales have washed up on California’s Bay Area shores since March. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the tenth whale carcass was found near Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica on Tuesday morning.
According to the Chronicle, Giancarlo Rulli, the spokesperson for The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, said authorities were still trying to figure out whether they could reach the whale and perform a necropsy to see how it died.
“The whale needs to dislodge at high tide, or if the low tide goes out far enough, they could try to do a preliminary look at the animal,” he said.
Just a few days ago, the ninth whale to wash up dead was found on the same beach. Experiments found that one whale was too decomposed to determine the cause of death, four died from malnutrition, and the other four were fatally struck by ships.
A dead gray whale washed up early Monday morning at Ocean Beach in San Francisco to become the ninth whale to turn up dead in the Bay Area in the last two months.
Read more: https://t.co/JVPIxJMC6r pic.twitter.com/GdOXegIhoV
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) May 6, 2019
In a statement, The Marine Mammal Center said there has been an increase in the number of gray whales being seen in the San Francisco Bay area, because they migrate back to their feeding grounds in Alaska during the Spring — one of the longest migrations of any whale on Earth. While one or two whales normally pass underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, this year they have counted as many as five.
“Biologists have observed gray whales in poor body condition during their annual migration this year,” the statement said. “Potentially due to anomalous oceanographic conditions over the past few years that have impacted their food source.”
Mother whales are particularly at risk, the Center said, because they have low body reserves.
“By investigating deaths like this, we are able to identify and respond to rapidly changing environmental trends that are impacting marine mammal populations,” said Padraig Duignan, the chief research pathologist at the Center.
“These animals are representative of a growing issue for migrating gray whales who appear unable to sustain themselves due to shifting food source availability.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that in total, 48 gray whales have …read more
Source:: Business Insider