by Staff Writers
Otago, New Zealand (UPI) Aug 2, 2011
Marine scientists in New Zealand say the impact of fishing is the largest human factor in the decline of the country's endangered native sea lion population.
The New Zealand sea lion is the country's only native pinniped species and is listed as "nationally critical."
The species breeds in the sub-Antarctic on islands south of New Zealand's mainland, but breeding has declined by 40 percent in the Auckland Islands since 1998, a study published in the journal Mammal Review said.
"The most plausible hypotheses based on available evidence is that the decline of breeding females in the Auckland Island population is caused by fisheries-induced resource competition and by-catch incidents," study author Bruce Robertson from the University of Otago said.
By-catch is defined as marine creatures inadvertently caught in nets during fishing for another species.
While non-human factors such as disease, predation, migration or environmental change are affecting the species, human factors such as environmental pollution and resource competition are having significant impacts, the study said.
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Geographic analysis offers new insight into coral disease spread
Gainesville, FL (SPX) Aug 02, 2011
In the last 30 years, more than 90 percent of the reef-building coral responsible for maintaining major marine habitats and providing a natural barrier against hurricanes in the Caribbean has disappeared because of a disease of unknown origin. Now a University of Florida geographer and his colleagues applied Geographic Information Systems, known as GIS - as well as software previously used ... read more
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