Bacterial infection to blame in Kachemak otter dieoff

first_imgTests results are back on dead sea otters from Kachemak Bay. About 82 percent of them had streptococcus syndrome, according to biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Download AudioA dead sea otter on the beach at the Homer Spit on December 22, 2015.Photo: Daysha Eaton/KBBI-Homer.Leslie Slater is a USFWS wildlife biologist at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge in Homer.“So also in this stretch of beach, which has been under 200 yards or so that we’ve walked, we’ve come across now, looks like a yearling sea otter that’s died and a sub-adult male that’s died too,” said Slater.Along the black pebbled beach at the Homer Spit, we step closer to a frozen otter near the Lands End Hotel and condominiums.“So you can tell that it’s a sub-adult because of its size and the tooth wear is pretty minimal, it’s got very white teeth. And this one happened to freeze in shape so you can see that the skin is sort of draping against the rib cage and it looks to me like it probably did die of starvation. We’ll have to thaw it out and do a necropsy on it to see what really happened with this one,” said Slater.USFWS wildlife biologist Leslie Slater puts on latex gloves to handle the dead sea otter at the Homer Spit on Decmeber 22, 2015. Photo: Daysha Eaton/KBBI-Homer.Since summer, more than 300 otters have died around Kachemak Bay. Joel Garlich-Miller, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Marine Mammals Management office in Anchorage, says they’re still finding them.“Things have dropped off quite a bit but we’re still getting reports of three or four animals a week, primarily from Homer area beaches,” Garlich-Miller said.He added that test results recently confirmed that it was the streptococcus syndrome that killed the otters in most cases.“This is a syndrome caused by bacterial infection, streptococcal infection and it manifests itself in a variety of ways such as valvular endocarditis or septicemia or encephalitis. It looks like a pretty high percentage of the animals that we recovered this year, about 82 percent, appear to test positive for this syndrome,” said Garlich-Miller.Garlich-Miller says most of the otters appeared to have deteriorated rapidly and succumbed to encephalitis.The Fish and Wildlife Service has been tracking a streptococcus illness in Kachemak Bay area otters for some time. Otters with the illness usually appear sickly and emaciated. But many of the otters that have died since August appear healthier.Garlich-Miller says although strep syndrome appears to be the main cause of the deaths, there are hints that some could have had a virus as well. Garlich-Miller says biologists are now collecting more dead otters to test for viruses.Back at the beach, biologist Leslie Slater explains what you should do if you come across a dead otter.“It’s best to call the sightings into the marine mammal stranding hotline, whether they’re alive or dead, and then there is another group of folks in town who will come and evaluate the carcass to see if it will be forwarded on for further pathology studies,” said Slater.Biologists hope those studies will shed more light on whether viruses had anything to do with the huge number of sea otter deaths this year.Dead or dying sea otters and other marine mammals should be reported to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network hotline at 888-774-SEAL (7325).last_img read more

PlayStation 4 Sales Hit 100 Million Mark

first_img 2 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global PS4 sales have topped 100 million units, Sony revealed in its first quarter earnings.As The Verge reports, Sony announced 96.8 million PS4 sales at the end of the previous quarter, but a further 3.2 million sold by the end of June hit 100 million. In reaching the milestone when it has, the PS4 now counts as the fastest game console to hit 100 million sales.This makes PlayStation 4 the fastest home console to reach 100 million unit sell in.Faster than both the PS2 and Wii which were just behind.It took PS2 a total of five years and 9 months. PS4 was just 5 years and 7 months.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 30, 2019According to Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners, the PS2 reached the same total in five years and nine months, where as the PS4 took just five years and seven months.With the PlayStation 5 expected to launch after May 2020, time is running out for the PS4 to move up the sales charts much further. In the all-time sales list, the PS4 is now within touching distance of the Nintendo Wii (101.63 million) and the original PlayStation (102.49 million). It should easily surpass them before becoming last-gen, but next on the list after that is the Game Boy, which achieved 118.69 million units sold. That looks to be out of reach.The only PlayStation not to achieve 100 million sales is the PS3, which only managed 87.4 million. How well the PS5 does depends on many factors including how much it costs, how good the initial games line-up is to give it sales momentum, and whether Microsoft manages to give Sony some strong competition with Project Scarlett. This story originally appeared on PCMag Register Now » July 30, 2019last_img read more