US: At least 60 ice seals found dead along west Alaska coast - - PressFrom - US
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USAt least 60 ice seals found dead along west Alaska coast

04:05  13 june  2019
04:05  13 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Two more gray whales were found dead this week in Alaska amid the mysterious surge of deaths within the species this year along the US West Coast , CNN affiliate KTUU reports. That makes seven in Alaska and at least 75 total, in what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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At least 60 ice seals found dead along west Alaska coast© The Associated Press This May 24, 2019, photo provided by the National Park Service shows a dead seal found on a beach near Kotzebue, Alaska. Federal biologists are investigating the deaths of at least 60 ice seals along Alaska's west coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says bearded, ringed and spotted seals were reported dead Monday in Norton Sound south of Nome. (Raime Fronstin/National Park Service via AP)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — At least 60 ice seals have been found dead along Alaska's west coast and federal biologists on Wednesday were trying to determine the cause.

Some carcasses had lost hair and NOAA Fisheries will try to determine if that was due to decomposition or abnormal molting.

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Ice Seals are extremely important to Alaska Natives living along the coast . There are over 60 communities that rely on ice seals for food, clothing, culture, and materials such as skins for umiaq or kayak coverings. Ice seals are also important components of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Sea

Alaska is a U . S . state in the northwest extremity of the United States West Coast , just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the

The agency noted the importance of ice seals to Alaska Native coastal communities. Seals are essential to coastal communities and food safety is a major concern.

Bearded, ringed and spotted seals were reported dead south of Nome and north of the Bering Strait.

A hunter counted 18 carcasses along 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) of shore north of the village of Kotlik and dozens of other dead seals along an island near Stebbins.

Eight young bearded seals were found Monday on St. Lawrence Island.

North of the Bering Strait in the Chukchi Sea, a National Park Service biologist counted six dead seals near Kotzebue's airport. NOAA Fisheries also received accounts of up to 30 dead seals between Kivalina and Point Hope.

Abnormal molting was present during the deaths of ice seals and walruses from 2011 to 2016 and led NOAA Fisheries to investigate after declaring an unusual mortality event in the Bering and Chukchi seas.

2 more dead gray whales are found in Alaska, bringing the year's toll to 75 along the US West Coast

2 more dead gray whales are found in Alaska, bringing the year's toll to 75 along the US West Coast Two more gray whales were found dead this week in Alaska amid the mysterious surge of deaths within the species this year along the US West Coast, CNN affiliate KTUU reports. That makes seven in Alaska and at least 75 total, in what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls an "unusual mortality event," the station reports. One of the two found near Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska showed signs of killer whale "predation," KTUU reports. Two more were discovered this week off Washington state. Last month, ocean scientists said they were worried about the death rate, the highest in almost two decades.

Scientists have been finding dead birds along Bering Sea coasts for years, and the number has risen recently. By Jim Williams Contributing Writer. Yupik Eskimos have lived in the village of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island off the coast of Nome, Alaska , for at least 2,000 years.

Ringed seals give birth on sea ice in spring and early summer, and polar bears sniff out their lairs. Diminished sea ice has reduced access to prey in the southern Beaufort Sea off Alaska 's north coast . Linda Fairstein has resigned from at least two boards following backlash from Netflix series.

A definitive cause for the abnormal molting was not identified.

The agency estimated that 657 seals were affected over those six years. Biologists confirmed 233 dead and stranded ringed, bearded, spotted and ribbon seals and 179 killed by hunters. Another 245 were found with abnormal molting during health assessments.

Ringed seals are the smallest of Alaska's ice seals and get their name from small, light-colored circles on their coats. They are the only seals that thrive in completely ice-covered Arctic waters.

Bearded seals get their name from short snouts covered with thick, long, white whiskers. Bearded seals give birth and rear pups on drifting pack ice.

Spotted seals are medium-size seals with light coats and dark spots. They often are found at the outer margins of shifting ice floes and rarely in areas of dense pack ice, NOAA says.

Read More

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