Many wild southern sea otters in California are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, yet the infection is fatal for only a fraction of sea otters, which has long puzzled the scientific community. A new study identifies the parasite's specific strains that are killing southern sea otters, tracing them back to a bobcat and feral domestic cats from nearby watersheds.
Since 2013, sea star wasting disease has brought about massive mortality in multiple sea star species from Mexico to Alaska. The East Coast has not been immune, as the disease has affected the shores from New Jersey to New England.
The SeaDoc Society invites viewers to explore the magnificent wildlife of the Pacific Northwest in a new adventure series called Salish Sea Wild, debuting Jan. 10. Salish Sea Wild is hosted by SeaDoc Science Director Joe Gaydos and will feature a new species or topic each month, starting with Steller sea lions in January.