Scat may contain clues to marine mammals’ Southern California deaths

Lowry, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration biologist, hoped the pungent material contained answers to why at least 2,250 dehydrated and underweight sea lions started showing up on local beaches in January — around the time he detected evidence of an unprecedented shift in the species’ eating habits. “The sea lion population is increasing at a rate of about 5.1% per year,” said Lowry, who also conducts annual aerial surveys of California’s pinniped populations. “In 1964, the sea lion population was about 30,000. Today, it is a tad over 300,000.” Read the rest here 10:20

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