Pacific seabirds dying in record numbers

World Today

One of the worst marine animal mass mortality events in recorded history is taking place in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Canada. Thousands of seabirds are dying, and scientists are trying to figure out why. Chris Casquejo filed this report.

Pacific seabirds dying in record numbers

One of the worst marine animal mass mortality events in recorded history is taking place in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Canada. Thousands of seabirds are dying, and scientists are trying to figure out why. Chris Casquejo filed this report.

Highlights:

  • Volunteers have found around 8,000 carcasses of the blue-footed seabird called the Cassin’s Auklet along the coast from British Columbia down into northern California.
  • Scientists estimate as many as 100,000 auklets, most of them young, have died.
  • Tests confirmed the auklets likely died of starvation. Scientists say they didn’t find any traces of other potential killers like oil, viruses or bacteria. They now suspect warm water is to blame.