Posted by: atowhee | June 18, 2014


The starfish are dying off along the Pacific Coast of North America. Here’s one account of what’s happening in British Columbia.
The deaths are occurring all along the coast including Oregon and California. The starfish is an important alpha predator among sessile creatures that live on rocks and ocean floors. Their disappearance would be like all the swallows vanishing from our skies. Biologists consider them a keystone species.
It is known there is a pathogen involved but not what it is. Warming temperatures seem to make the disease worse. The starfish may be getting the disease from their prey which in turn get it by filtering the microbes from the ocean water.
This epidemic could have a devastating effect on the entire nearshore ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean along our coast.

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