Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Too much endangerement

In an interesting case of what the environment is coming too, Wildlife officers are trying to figure out how to scare away endangered stellar sea lions from eating endangered sturgeons.

Apparently, this has been caused due to a dam on the river, which concentrates the population of the fish, something that the sea-lions have discovered. The big problem is, the fish take a lot of time to mature before they reproduce, so this killing by the sea lions can easily make them extinct.

But why is this happening now? Perhaps because the mammals have nothing else to eat.
Biologists aren’t sure why Steller sea lions, which are opportunistic feeders, have targeted sturgeon.

But Charlie Corrarino, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation manager, said the big fish are about the only ones in the river right now.

Smelt, an important forage fish, have nearly disappeared, noted Parker, the Inter-Tribal Fish Commission biologist. Tons of the thin, oily fish used to flood the lower Columbia and its tributaries in winter. Sea lions had only to open their mouths, let the smelt swim in, and then swallow, he said.

Expect more such craziness as we Homo sapiens further change our environment and cause our own destruction.

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