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New Evidence for Predation as Key Factor in Steller Sea Lion Collapse

For the past 7 years, MMI principal investigator Markus Horning has been following the lives and deaths of endangered Alaskan Steller sea lions. His results suggest that predation, not a drop in birth rate, is the largest impediment to recovery of the species.

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C Scott Baker conducts research on world's smallest and rarest dolphins

The population of the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins has dropped by half in the past seven years to an estimated 55 individuals, according to research released March 13 by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC), the University of Auckland and Oregon State University.

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Scientists still following far-ranging Varvara as Russian whale returns

Varvara thumbnail imageNEWPORT, Ore. – After visiting three different lagoons in the Pacific Ocean side of Baja Mexico, a rare western gray whale named “Varvara” is migrating up the West Coast – presumably en route to her home range near Russia’s Sakhalin Island....By Friday, the 9-year-old female was near the Washington/Canadian border, traveling northward at a rate of up to 100 miles a day.

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Bruce Mate tracks rare whale migrating up West Coast

NEWPORT, OR (KPTV) - Scientists are eagerly following the path of a rare western gray whale as she migrates up the West Coast. Bruce Mate, director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University, says there are only about 130 western gray whales in the world and Varvara's behavior has significant ecological and management implications.

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Markus Horning at Science on Tap

NEWPORT – Oregon State University marine mammal researcher Markus Horning  steps to the bar for this month’s Science on Tap lecture, with The secret lives or seals: Using high-tech marvels to pry into ocean depths.

In recent research, the high-tech tools have helped show that more juvenile Steller sea lions are falling to predators than had been thought, casting doubt on prospects for the animals’ ability to recover from recent population decline in Alaskan waters.

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Endangered Antarctic blue whales show surprising genetic diversity

bluewhale_thumbnailMore than 99 percent of Antarctic blue whales were killed by commercial whalers during the 20th century, but the first circumpolar genetic study of these critically endangered whales has found a surprisingly high level of diversity among the surviving population of some 2,200 individuals.

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Alaska Public Radio Network interview with Markus Horning

An Oregon State researcher is raising some new scientific doubts about the National Marine Fisheries Service Sea Lion biological opinion.  Markus Horning has been tagging Sea Lions in Prince William Sound and finding that predators like Killer Whales and Sharks are killing a larger proportion of their pups than expected.

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Predators may block recovery of Alaska sea lions, scientists say

Researchers at Oregon State University and the Alaska Sealife Center started tracking 36 juvenile Steller sea lions in 2005. By November, 12 had died, a death rate that's not exceptional, OSU marine mammal expert Markus Horning said Thursday.


Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/01/19/2272838/predators-may-block-alaska-sea.html#storylink=cpy

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New Study: Juvenile predation on Steller sea lions in the Gulf of Alaska

thumbnail of steller sea lionA new study suggests that the impact of predation on juvenile Steller sea lions in the Gulf of Alaska has been significantly underestimated, creating a “productivity pit” from which their population will have difficulty recovering without a reduction of predators.

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Each year Scott Baker teaches "The Natural History of Whales and Whaling"

Each fall, Scott Baker teaches a 3 credit course on 'The natural history of whales and whaling' (FW499/599) based at HMSC. The students finished the fall quarter with a debate, following a Karl Popper format.  

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