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  • HarborPorpoise
    Mammal Stranding Network The Marine Mammal Center California Academy of Sciences and California Department of Public Health to determine the cause of the harbor porpoise strandings Most of the porpoises found initially were females with full term fetuses Domoic Acid DA poisoning is one potential cause It is the result of an extreme proliferation of marine algae a Harmful Algal Bloom HAB It can cause brain degeneration and sometimes death in marine mammals seabirds and humans so the sanctuary is working closely with the Department of Public Health Harbor porpoises are among the smallest cetaceans They reach an average length of five feet and weigh approximately 200 pounds and the females are larger than the males They have a stocky midsection and a short rounded snout Their dorsal fin is triangular unlike a dolphin s which is falcate and they have rounded pectoral fins Harbor porpoises are dark grey with a white underside as well as a light grey patch on their side As their name indicates the harbor porpoise inhabits inshore shallow coastal waters This is a possible reason why they strand frequently The harbor porpoise is listed by the IUCN as a threatened vulnerable species They can become

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-07/HarborPorpoise.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Salmon2
    that has not happened since the salmon fishing industry was founded in 1848 in the Bay Area says Zeke Grader Executive Director of Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen s Associations Federal agencies responsible for the recovery and preservation of salmon have pointed to aberrant ocean conditions in the past years which they say could have been responsible for the low returns in 2007 and anticipated low returns in 2008 Fishing groups and conservationists have while not entirely discounting ocean conditions pointed to the increasing amount of water that is being pumped out of the Sacramento delta in addition to the cumulative insults to in river salmon habitat from pollution unscreened water diversions and a host of other problems At a press conference following a March fisheries regulatory meeting in Sacramento a group of recreational commercial tribal and conservation groups laid out solutions to the salmon crisis in California A representative of the Winnemem Wintu tribe whose ancestral lands on the McCloud River were cut off from migrating salmon by the Shasta Dam issued a stern warning If you don t change your practices you will lose your salmon too With that in mind the representatives from the various groups offered solutions with the paramount solution being a reduction in water exports from the Delta Fishermen from California and Oregon have been hitting the halls of Congress looking for disaster relief legislation from local politicians The crisis enveloping the West Coast salmon fishing industry has not been limited to California and Oregon In Washington State poor returns of salmon on the Snake River the main tributary of the Columbia River were too low to enable a significant fishery for Washington trollers In Seattle Save Our Wild Salmon a coalition of fishing and salmon advocates is launching a road show complete with

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-04/Salmon2.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • EntangledWhale
    nearby Moreover after as close an inspection as possible the experts decided that this was not a life threatening situation There have been cases of humpback entanglements in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in the past The most publicized case was in late 2005 when an adult female was seen wrapped in approximately 20 lines from crab pots These lines can be 240 feet long and have weights attached along their length The divers who cut the lines off the whale at great risk to themselves rescued it Gray whales also are in danger of entanglement with crabbing gear since their annual migration to and from Baja California occurs during Dungeness crab season Approximately 170 000 crab pots are set in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary during this time each with lines and buoys attached Worldwide a 2003 study by conservation biologists estimated that over 300 000 whales and dolphins die each year after becoming entangled in fishing gear Bob Wilson FMSA Interim Executive Director said These whales thousands of which are on the Endangered Species List must navigate a virtual mine field of lines and equipment We need to act now to minimize

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-06/EntangledWhale.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • DeadMan
    is no way we are climbing down it So we claw back up the ravine to a more stable area then cut back toward the beach After a while we find a spot where we can descend but it is so steep that when we reach the shore my wife is still shaking from exertion and fear We continue our search As we look around for the dead sea lion we find several carcasses of deer that have fallen off the cliff we just descended At the south end of the beach all we see are live elephant seals No Steller carcass in sight even with binoculars So we head north After an hour I spot a large flock of ravens and vultures about a half mile away When we reach the animal it is well past five o clock We barely have three hours of day light so we go to work We measure it sex it and examine it for human interaction strap entanglement propeller wounds bullet holes The animal has been heavily scavenged so all we have left is to collect the skull This goes well It takes just less than two hours to peel the skin back remove the muscle expose the skull and pop it free By now the sun is almost on the horizon so I quickly detach the lower mandible separate it scoop out the brains and bag them up During this time Sally cleans up the equipment Now for the hike back to the truck There is no way we are going back up the way we came down so we trudge along the beach to another gorge that has lower cliffs We climb up the steep ravine remember on top of my heavy backpack I am carrying a 25 pound head

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-06/DeadMan.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Volunteer
    oil samples and dead oiled birds to be used for damage assessment She contributed first by providing a baseline of data on coastal wildlife before the spill And then during the spill response her special surveys helped to inform the Unified Command where to deploy cleanup crews on re fouled beaches stated Farallones Sanctuary Superintendent Maria Brown Mary carried out these surveys into mid January logging 76 spill hours driving 295 miles at her own expense and patrolling 23 5 km of beaches during this one oil spill alone Since 1999 Mary Cantini a resident of San Francisco has contributed to the science and resource protection of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary by volunteering for the SEALS and Beach Watch programs In 2005 Mary began systematic monthly surveys of China Beach and Ocean Beach under the Beach Watch volunteer program establishing a baseline of data for these sites Beach Watch s 15th Anniversary Now celebrating its fifteenth year the Beach Watch program consistently monitors wildlife and the overall health of 41 beaches along the coasts of Sonoma Marin San Francisco and San Mateo Counties The Beach Watch program was developed in 1993 following a series of lethal

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-06/Volunteer.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Closure
    lions are highly sensitive to human disturbance These animals depend heavily on the ocean for food but come on shore to breed and rest Seabird colonies are typically located on offshore rocks isolated sea stacks islands and steep mainland cliffs areas that can usually only be accessed by boats Seals and sea lions also tend to use remote areas Single disturbance events or chronic disturbance can result in the loss of an entire generation of seabirds at a colony and mortality of seal or sea lion pups Special Closures at key sites are anticipated to aid breeding success of at risk species increase their populations and help them recover from oil spills More information on how human based disturbance affects seabirds can be found on the Sanctuary s Seabird Colony Protection Program website Special Closures are relatively small 300 to 1000 ft diameter vessel no go zones designed to protect key marine wildlife hotspots from boat based human disturbance Boats including kayaks wildlife viewing boats commercial and recreational fishing vessels private motorized vessels and jet skis have been documented sources of human disturbance in this region Although low flying airplanes and humans on foot also cause disturbance seabird monitoring indicates that boats have caused the most severe observed impacts at the monitored sites Impacts are mostly from vessels approaching anchoring drifting or lingering in close proximity to a colony Monitoring data indicates that a 1000 ft Special Closure would eliminate 92 of seabird disturbance events while a 300 ft Special Closure is likely to eliminate 68 of seabird disturbance events G McChesney personal communication 300 ft is the recommended distance associated with the Marine Mammal Protection Act to avoid seal and sea lion disturbance Although Steller sea lions a listed species under the Endangered Species Act require 3000 ft of

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-05/Closure.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • DeadSeals
    are believed to have been fired from a parking area on a bluff above the beach The rookery which first established itself in the 1990s had become a popular attraction Docents had left the area Friday afternoon and returned to find the animals lying in pools of blood on the beach Saturday morning Necropsies were to retrieve bullets as forensic evidence and possible witnesses shot but as of yet no clues have surfaced about the culprits or their motives The following day a thousand miles to the north on the Columbia River six sea lions including two threatened Steller sea lions were found dead in cages near the foot of Bonneville Dam Marine mammals have gathered there for many years to feed on salmon which negotiate the fish ladders around the dam on their upstream journey to spawn Captured animals are usually taken to a marine park to be housed until the salmon migration has ended Originally believed to have been shot authorities now say heat exhaustion was the cause of death to the sea lions According to the Portland Oregonian agents of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife suspect the cage doors may have shut by accident possibly when a drop of water level pulled taut the ropes which lift the doors This would have trapped the animals inside the cages Sea lions used to swimming in cold water could quickly overheat even when air temperatures are not very high marine mammal experts said The animals thick blubber which insulates them from the cold ocean could also act as an uncomfortable blanket when it s warm Although Bonneville Dam has had numerous surveillance cameras installed since 9 11 none was trained on the cages nor were there any signs of tampering When the dead animals were first discovered

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-05/DeadSeals.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Bolinas
    the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Marin County Open Space District to develop a plan to minimize the adverse human impacts to Bolinas Lagoon By mid September 2007 a GFNMS Advisory Council Bolinas Lagoon Working Group was assembled The Working Group includes members of the Bolinas Stinson and Seadrift communities Sierra Club and Audubon Canyon Ranch representatives and several renowned scientists from throughout the Bay Area The scientists areas of expertise range from landscape and avian ecology to hydrology geology and marine fisheries Throughout seven Working Group meetings recommendations to restore and protect Bolinas Lagoon were developed The recommendations are organized under three objectives Restore natural sediment transport and ecological functions of Bolinas Lagoon by reducing the negative effects of human induced changes Identify and manage introduced species in the Bolinas Lagoon watershed Protect water quality by minimizing negative human impacts Together the suite of recommendations addresses the direct and indirect human impacts affecting Bolinas Lagoon and aim to reduce or slow the anthropogenic influences Overall the recommendations work together synergistically to restore hydrological and ecological functions in the Lagoon and its watershed Some key recommendations include Conduct a quantitative sediment source analysis of the Bolinas Lagoon watershed to identify current and potential problem areas that contribute excess materials from the watershed into Bolinas Lagoon Restore floodplain functions to the extent possible Restoring the natural floodplain functions will increase the ability of the floodplain to trap sediment during storm events and thus reduce the amount of sediment entering the Lagoon Restore eelgrass Eelgrass is an extremely valuable habitat for invertebrates and fish Eelgrass serves as a nursery ground for larvae and juvenile fish and provides protection from predation by bigger fish and birds Currently it is uncertain why eelgrass has largely disappeared from Bolinas Lagoon Further investigation is

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-05/Bolinas.htm (2016-02-13)
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