Tag: seabird deaths

Massive sea bird die-off linked to food scarcity during “the blob,” new study says

When the last “Blob” hit the Pacific, an area of the ocean larger than Canada experienced surface ocean temperatures rise as much as 7 degrees, completely altering the marine ecosystem for more than two years. The result was havoc in the food chain.

As seabird die-offs continue, Unalaskans train to track local mortalities

Scientists have linked recent mass mortalities to above-normal water temperatures, which affect birds' food sources.

Wanted: Unalaska birders and beachcombers to help track seabird mortalities

Thousands of dead seabirds washed up on Alaska's shores this summer, marking the state's fifth straight year of mass die-offs. Now the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey team is training volunteers to monitor the trend.
Dead seabirds lying on a beach near Nome

‘It’s starvation.’ Biologists in Alaska see a fifth year of significant seabird die-offs

According to the National Park Service, reports received by mid-August documented thousands of dead short-tailed shearwaters from Bristol Bay, and lower numbers of other types of birds, found deceased in the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas. This marks the fifth year in a row Alaska has seen mass seabird mortality events.

NOAA announces a new marine heatwave is shaping up to look like ‘the Blob’

The Northeast Pacific Marine Heatwave of 2019 has raised ocean surface temperatures by 2–3 degrees across a giant swath of water off the West Coast.
Image at top: A puffin on Hornøya Island in northernmost Norway. Photo: Flickr user nrknatur, shared via Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

USGS scientists say there’s not yet enough information to tie seabird die-offs to toxins

Over the course of several seasons, dead seabirds have been found on coastlines all over the Bering Strait region, most of them emaciated. Scientists don’t know why the birds are starving, and they say they don’t have enough information yet to determine a definitive link between these specific bird die-offs and toxins created by algal blooms.

Could Arctic warming be behind gray whale deaths in Alaska, and elsewhere? Here’s why scientists are asking.

Scientists aren't calling climate change or declining sea ice the smoking gun yet. But they’ve seen enough other events that have come along with Arctic warming, like sea bird die-offs, that they’re asking questions.

Hundreds of dying seabirds found in Bering and Chukchi seas

Since May, hundreds of dead and dying seabirds have been found across the northern Bering and southern Chukchi Seas. Listen now

Seabirds washing up dead in Western Alaska; scientists investigating

Seabirds have once again been found washed up on beaches in Western Alaska. Listen now

For third year in a row, Alaska seabirds wash up dead

For the third year in a row, seabirds are washing up dead along the coastline in Alaska. Hundreds of birds have been discovered along a stretch of the Bering Sea, on the Pribilof Islands and as far north as Deering.Listen now

Murre colonies struggle to reproduce following die-off

The massive murre die-off that left tens of thousands of dead birds on Alaska’s coast in 2015 and 2016 may be over, but the population is still struggling. In the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, surviving murres are failing to reproduce. Listen now

Scientists agree starvation killed hundreds of puffins, but did PSP play a role?

What caused more than 300 puffins to wash up dead in the Pribilof Islands last fall? Starvation. At least, that’s the consensus among most scientists. Listen now

Puffin die-off on St. Paul Island may point to larger ecosystem problems

In the past two months, 300 dead puffins have washed up on St. Paul Island, alarming residents who had only seen six carcasses over the last decade. Listen Now
Dead murres on the beach in Haines on Jan. 12, 2016. (Tim Ackerman)

Following seabird die-off, citizen science project expands in Alaska

Earlier this year, dozens of dead seabirds washed up on beaches in Haines and Skagway. It wasn’t an isolated event. An estimated hundreds of thousands of dead common murres were found on shores across the West Coast.

‘Blob’ of warm water threatens marine mammals in the Pacific

Scientists are increasingly worried about the possibility of more die-offs and other adverse effects on marine mammals and seabirds if the suspected cause, a huge anomaly of warm water in the northeast Pacific Ocean, persists into this summer. KTOO’s Matt Miller has more in the first of a two-part series. Download Audio

Scientists say murre die-off comparable to Exxon Valdez spill

The number of dead common murres showing up on Alaska’s beaches is growing, and the scale of the die-off is now on par with the grounding of the 1989 Exxon Valdez in Price William Sound when 22,000 birds were collected. Download Audio
Common Murres, like the one held by Wildlife Biologist Leslie Slater on the beach along the Spit in Homer, are turning up along beaches all around the Kachemak Bay area.

Mass seabird deaths prompt federal attention

A federal agency is calling for more research into large-scale mortality of common murres and other seabirds off Alaska's coast. Download Audio

Dead murres wash up on Haines’ beach

More than a dozen dead common murres washed up on the beach in front of Haines on Tuesday, part of an unsettling trend happening across the state. According to biologists, the seabirds are starving to death.

Wildlife rescuers overwhelmed with starving sea birds

Common murre seabirds are challenging rescue workers as they make their way inland, becoming stranded and hungry. Download Audio