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Experts Say Sea Lion Strandings Could Be Bad This Year

John R Whitaker /Flickr
 

John R Whitaker /Flickr

Scientists say the fate of some sea lions this year may not be much better than last year, when 3,300 pups were stranded. Sea lions, especially pups, are starving and malnourished. California lawmakers heard from experts about the outlook for 2016.

According to doctor Jeff Boehm with the Marine Mammal Center, half the pups on the Channel Islands are underweight, and there are fewer of them. He says the Center has already rescued pups this year.

“To have them anytime during the winter months is odd,” says Boehm.

Boehm also says warmer waters are preventing sea lions from getting enough nutritious food to bring back to their pups. Last year, the legislature provided a million dollars to help local marine mammal stranding networks handle the rescues.

“We are buried in the amount of space we have, the amount of pools we have and that’s where some of this additional funding is helping organizations to see clear to how they can expand, how they can start to accommodate and predict what the needs of 2016 are going to be,” says Boehm.

So far almost 400 sea lion pups have been stranded.