salmon species

Commercial fishing boats are scrambling to catch as many Atlantic salmon as they can after a net pen broke near Washington’s Cypress Island. Fishers reported thousands of the non-native fish jumping in the water or washing ashore.

A fish farm’s net pen failed Saturday afternoon when an anchor pulled loose and metal walkways twisted about. Onlookers said it looked like hurricane debris.

The pen, in the state’s northwestern San Juan Islands, contained about 305,000 Atlantic salmon. Now, owner Cooke Aquaculture and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are trying to determine how many escaped.

Kurt Beardslee, the director of the Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest, called the escape an “environmental nightmare.”

‘Environmental Nightmare’ After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm

Photo: Megan Farmer/KUOW

The Southern Resident Killer Whales, a highly endangered group of orcas that live off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, have taken yet another critical hit to their population with the recent loss of J52 Sonic. J52 was announced to be deceased on September 19th by the Center For Whale Research, which is not long after another one of these whales died, K pod’s matriarch K13 Skagit, who passed away in August.

The three pods of killer whales that make up the Southern Residents are, as previously stated, an endangered species that are close to extinction. There are currently only 76 individuals left in this population, and they are becoming weaker everyday that passes. The main reason for these orcas demise is food. The diet of these cetaceans is almost entirely made up of Chinook salmon, and they need a lot of it. The average Southern Resident Killer Whale needs 18-25 adult Chinook salmon daily just to satisfy the basic energy requirements. However, this species of salmon is endangered as well, making it even harder for these orcas to survive.

One of the main things that people can do to help is to urge the United States government to remove the four lower Snake River dams in Washington State. Historically, the Snake River has been one of the biggest breeding grounds of Chinook salmon, and by restoring the environment to natural conditions these fish will have a chance to repopulate and grow, and in turn will help the killer whales immensely. Please call President Trump and urge him to consider removing these dams, because not only are they harmful to the animals but they also are harmful to the economy. The White House number is 202-456-1111 and is available Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm EDT. For more information on the dams themselves and the orcas, please visit these websites/organizations:

WildSalmon.org
Pacific Salmon Foundation
Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative
Raincoast : Wild Salmon Program
The Center for Whale Research
Damsense.org

Please continue to advocate for these animals. Extinction is forever, endangered means we still have time.

PC: Center for Whale Research.

hetaliafandomhubepsilon  asked:

Hello! To start off your Ambassador work, can you tell us about some of the wildlife in your country? Thank you! (If you would like a different question, let me know)!

As a former Zoology student, I don’t think you could have started me off with a better question than this one! 

So to start off, Irish wildlife could generally be considered to be pretty similar with what one might expect to find on the European continent. With a few differences of course. Ireland is located on an island and although it has known an insular existence for a very long time, Ireland was originally connected to Great Britain and the European mainland by a land bridge. However it is thought that this land bridge disappeared around 14,000 BCE due to rising sea levels. As a consequence, not all fauna that is native to continental Europe managed to cross into Ireland. 

For example, out of 60 mammal species recorded in Ireland, only 26 of them are actually native to the country. All others were recently introduced, either accidentally (brown rat, bank vole) or purposefully (rabbit, fallow deer).        

Extinction

Extinctions are never nice to talk about, but I felt it’s still an interesting subject to discuss. Due to Ireland’s location during the Ice Age, it was home to a plethora of animal species that are today either regionally extinct from Ireland or have become completely extinct. Wooly mammoths used to be present in Ireland (and were apparently still around when Newgrange was built) along with the Irish elk, reindeer, lynx, Arctic fox, lemming, and the spotted hyena. Brown bear also used to exist in Ireland before becoming extinct 12,000 years ago and interestingly enough, genetic testing seems to indicate that at least some polar bears today are descended from a female brown bear that was from Ireland. (it appears that polar bears and brown bears in Ireland frequently interbred with each other)

More recent extinctions include the great auk (1834), grey whale (1600s) and wildcat (1800s). The grey wolf, one of the few native species of Ireland, was fairly widespread in the country up to the 1700s. (apparently wolves were so abundant that a few shocked Englishmen gave the nickname “Wolfland” to Ireland) Regarding it as a pest, English lords decided that it needed to be exterminated and put in place a policy where monetary reward was offered for killing wolves. It wasn’t very long until the last wolf was killed in 1786 by the farmer John Watson in Ballydarton, Co. Carlow.

Mammals

Some of the native mammal species that can be found in Ireland are the following: red fox, hedgehog, badger, hare, otter, stoat, red squirrel, and the pygmy shrew. Many more mammal species were introduced to Ireland over the centuries, such as the rabbit which was introduced by the Normans in the 12th century and the grey squirrel which was introduced in 1911. Unfortunately some of the introduced mammal species have a negative impact on the native fauna, such as the grey squirrel which could potentially push the red squirrel to extinction by outcompeting it and by being a carrier of a disease that is fatal to their smaller red cousin. 

Among the marine mammals, Ireland has seals and whales that are either permanent residents or migratory. Of the seals, the two most common species are the common seal and the grey seal. Other seal species and the walrus can be spotted along the Irish coasts but it is only very occasionally that this occurs. Ireland also has various species of dolphins and whales, the most famous example being Fungie the Dingle Dolphin, a bottlenose dolphin who has been around since 1983. Fungie is best known for his friendliness towards humans and is often seen in the Dingle harbour.      

A tidbit that I find to be highly interesting is that despite the fact that the red deer is a native species of Ireland due to the attested presence of the it during the Ice Age, the red deer of today isn’t actually descended of that original population. Genetic testing showed that the original red deer population became extinct after the end of the Ice Age but the red deer was subsequently reintroduced 5,000 years ago after Neolithic people brought it with them when they migrated to Ireland. The boar is another example of a species dying out and being reintroduced to Ireland centuries later.

Reptiles

The only native land reptile present in Ireland is the viviparous lizard (or common lizard), the term “viviparous” meaning that it gives birth to live young rather than laying eggs like the majority of reptiles. Another land reptile that has been seen in Ireland is the slow-worm, though it is believed to have been illegally introduced in the 1970s. Other than that, Ireland has five marine turtles species that are often sighted off the west coast of Ireland though they don’t tend to come ashore.  

There are no snakes in Ireland. A popular myth claims that this was due to the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, chasing all snakes out of Ireland and into the sea. Of course the story has never been believed to be true because Saint Patrick’s predecessor, Saint Palladius, had noted decades earlier that there were no snakes in Ireland. This is most likely due to Ireland losing its land bridge long before snakes migrated to the north of Europe after the end of Ice Age. 

Amphibians

Only three amphibian species are native to Ireland: the European brown frog, the smooth newt, and the natterjack toad. What is curious about the frog is that it is often questioned if it is native to Ireland at all. No mention of frogs in Ireland was made until the 12th century, leading some to speculate that the Normans introduced the frog to Ireland (as they did with the rabbit). Others speculate that the frog could have been introduced as late as the 18th century thanks to an English naturalist who participated in a survey on Irish flora and fauna and allegedly placed imported frog spawn in a ditch after failing to find any native frogs.  

Birds

There are approximately 400 bird species in Ireland, many of which are migratory such as the swallow. The most widespread of bird species in Ireland are the European robin, wren, blackbird, starling, blue tit, great tit, and the common chaffinch. 

Many conservation projects have been attempting to reintroduce certain bird species that used to be in Ireland but became regionally extinct. Some cases have known success, like the white-tailed eagle which was reintroduced to Ireland in 2007 after being absent for 200 years. The golden eagle was reintroduced to Ireland in 2001 after being extinct for 90 years. It wouldn’t be until 2007 that the first golden eagle chick would be born in Ireland. It is planned to attempt to reintroduce the common crane to Ireland in the future. However some bird species such as the osprey and marsh harrier have been returning to Ireland of their own accord.

Fish

About 375 fish species are present in Ireland’s coastal waters and a further 40 freshwater species live in Ireland’s lakes and rivers. Fishing is a fairly popular activity in Ireland and attracts many tourists. Some popular fishes to catch are the red sea bream, cod, mackerel, rainbow trout, roach, pollock, and the Atlantic salmon. (although you need a licence to fish Atlantic salmon) Other notable fish species found near Ireland are: basking shark, hagfish, cuckoo wrasse, ocean sunfish, boarfish, conger eel, and thresher shark.          

Invertebrates

It is estimated that there are 11,500 species of insects in Ireland, though there is a likelihood that there are far more than that. Among these, some notable invertebrates are: freshwater pearl mussel, freshwater crayfish, Kerry slug, marsh fritillary butterfly, white prominent, and diving bell spider.     

Photo used is public domain, here is the link to the original photo. 

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Check Out the Close Ups of Coho Spawning on the Salmon River - taken in November while conducting a coho spawning survey on the Salmon River in northwest Oregon.

The rivers, streams, and lakes of Oregon and Washington are home to a diverse array of fish species, and the BLM is committed to the restoration and protection of the aquatic habitat the fish are dependent on.

Salmon and trout species found on BLM-managed lands include bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, Lahontan cutthroat trout, redband trout, steelhead trout, and chinook and sockeye salmon. Five of these species (bull trout, Lahontan cutthroat trout, steelhead trout, chinook salmon, and sockeye salmon) are on the Endangered Species Act list in all or portions of their distribution.

The BLM addresses the management of fish and their habitat in District Resource Management Plans and through such initiatives as the Northwest Forest Plan, PACFISH and InFish. The BLM is also a member of the Federal Caucus, which is a group of nine federal agencies with management responsibilities for listed fish species. The Caucus works together to improve interagency coordination and management of all the factors that influence fish survival: habitat, hatcheries, harvest, and hydropower operations.

See these fish in action on BLM Oregon’s YouTube.

Rina Character Profile

Full Name: Rina Toin

Age: 14

Birthday: September 20th 2003

Height: 5′5

Favorite Food: Salmon

Species: Mermaid

The mermaid princess of the North Atlantic and the holder of the pearl of strength. While very shy as a little girl, the events that occurred in the North Pacific in 2016 kick-started Rina into becoming a braver and stronger person.

Rina is very well liked by her female classmates, but comes off as intimidating to many of the boys. Because of this, there are many rumors about Rina fighting various people and winning. It is unknown if any of them are true. What is true is that a few of the girls in the drama club only joined to watch Rina help in the stage crew.

When fighting demons, Rina is pretty well rounded. She is capable of attacking multiple enemies at once and can take the most damage compared to Hanon and Samia. 

WIDESPREAD DEAFNESS IN FARMED SALMON: HALF OF THEM HAVE HEARING LOSS DUE TO DEFORMED EAR BONES

The rapid growth of aquaculture raises questions about the welfare status of mass-produced species. Salmon have otoliths (ear bones) made from aragonite, a crystal form of calcium carbonate. These are the main hearing structures in the inner ear. However, individuals can possess a deformity in which the aragonite structure is replaced with another crystal form of calcium carbonate, vaterite.

Australian researchers studied this otolith defect in wild and farmed Atlantic salmon in Norway, as well as farmed fish from Australia, Scotland, Canada and Chile. Farmed fish were 10x more likely to have the otolith deformity than wild fish. Further, average levels of vaterite replacement have a major physiological effect on individuals: a 28–50% loss in hearing sensitivity.

The underlying causes of vaterite formation remain unknown, but the prevalence of hearing impairment in farmed fish has important implications for animal welfare, the survival of escapees and their effects on wild populations, and the efficacy of restocking programs based on captive-bred fish.

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On #mypubliclandsroadtrip, we’re counting fish in the Salmon River with Fish Biologist Bruce Zoellick and Wildlife Biologist Corbin Murphy.

Coho, Chinook, and Steelhead call the Salmon Wild and Scenic River in Oregon home. Through a cooperative effort, trees have been pulled up and hauled to the river where engineers have built log jams for fish and other aquatic species. Zoellick and Murpy count fish by species as they snorkel around the log jams and side channels.

Check out the video below to learn more about the new log jams and science behind the fish counting.

The world’s oldest orca, J2 aka Granny, has not been seen since October of 2016 and has been declared deceased. Granny was estimated to be at the age of 106 when she passed on.

May her memory live on in her grandchildren and great grandchildren of the J Pod.

This sadly brings the Southern Resident orca population down to a total number of 78 with the recent death of J34 aka Doublestuf. Researchers believe that most of the orcas are dying due to starvation and malutrition because they feed on the Chimook salmon, a species of salmon that are having trouble reaching Snake River where they spawn because its been blocked by at least 4 dams.

If we do not do something soon, then this endangered species of orca will cease to exist all together.

Please… save these orcas… they don’t deserve to suffer anymore. Do not stain the memory of the most beloved orcas on the face of the planet…

Thoughts on Shark Week 2015

This year’s Shark Week was so much improved! There was a much higher focus on science, biodiversity and conservation, and a lot less sensationalism and pseudoscience. So if you had decided to not tune in this year after last year’s disappointments, I advise you to give it a try! I have listed below some of my favorite episodes that really are worth the watch. 

Originally posted by leonettaisas

This 3rd installment of Alien Sharks was incredible. I am still slightly obsessed with this episode. I could feel the rush of adrenaline as they were tagging the megamouth shark just sitting on my couch! SO.MUCH.SCIENCE. I loved it! I learned about biofluorescence (i have to make a separate blog post about that) which I honestly didn’t even know existed until then! The megamouth (I also have to make a separate blog post about that!) expedition was just insane. Can we get a follow-up on that once the tag gets released? I’m not sure when they tagged the shark/when this episode was filmed. I need to know the results! 

Sharks of Cuba was also one of my favorites. It focused on a joint U.S.-Cuban team of scientists studying the sharks of Cuba. The area they were in really goes to show how wonderful Marine Protected Areas are. The reefs there were gorgeous, and the silky sharks and remoras shown on screen were huge! You could tell the ecosystem around the island is thriving, undisturbed. We got to see the first tagging of a shark in Cuba, as well as the tagging of a rare longfin Mako! 

Ninja Sharks are also incredible. I LOVE learning about all those more ‘obscure’ sharks, like the Salmon shark and Thresher shark, and what their ‘ninja’ skills are. Loved all the graphs and scientific facts! Shark Planet was a 2 hour recut of the BBC Earth "Sharks" series, and it was AWESOME. I mean, we all know the BBC wildlife documentaries are incredible, so I wasn’t expecting anything less. We saw so many shark species, and some shark behavior that we never really saw before (epaulette sharks walking across land, what?!). 

Originally posted by coloredyouth

Overall, I was quite satisfied with this year’s show. There were still some very low lows (a Great White serial killer? “Oh there were two attacks 2 years apart right here so this must be the same shark”), but also some very high highs (ALIEN SHARKS!), and a lot of good things in between. 

Here is my personal list:

The AMAZING:  Alien Sharks, Ninja Sharks, Sharks of Cuba, Planet Shark

The Good:  Monster Mako, Shark Trek, Shark Clan

The Meh Okay:  Island of the Mega Shark, Bride of Jaws, Shark Island, Shark of the Shadowlands

The Bad: Super Predator, Return of the Great White Serial Killer

Shark Week definitely really needs to keep steering away from the speculation and sensationalism of Super Predators and Serial Killers and shark bite reenactments. I wish for less Great White Shark drama (although you may continue the Shark Trek series), and more endangered, rare and weird species (Salmon shark! Thresher Shark! Megamouth!! Yes please).  I give you two thumbs up, Discovery Channel, for moving in the right direction and turning this program around! Keep it going, and I look forward to next year.

Originally posted by tessasmile

Resilience to Extremes - Can Salmon Survive the Hot Water?

The Pleistocene Epoch was long. Well, in the grand scheme of things, I suppose two and a half million years is rather short.

What you can say about the Pleistocene is it was cold. It is commonly referred to as the “Ice Age”, but in a sense, this term can be misleading. It is only the most recent of several ice ages, and the Earth was not actually a consistent snowball for the entirety of the Pleistocene. Instead the period was marked by what scientists think could be as many as twenty different glaciation cycles, where glaciers crept from both poles toward the equator, then retreated, over and over again.

If there’s anything that is more difficult than extreme conditions for (most) living organisms, it’s changes to the stability of those extremes.

Enter the Pacific Northwest, about one million years ago. By then, the five recognizable Pacific salmon species we know of today (sockeye, Coho, Chinook, pink, and chum), had diverged from their common ancestor, in addition to further differentiating from their closest relative, the Asian masu salmon. Repeatedly, the ice cap reached far south into British Columbia, encroaching on much of the salmon’s habitat in the coastal rivers and streams.

A question that’s up for debate regarding the history of these fish is this: how did salmon survive such severe swings in their environment as the glaciers came and went?

In his book King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon, author and professor of earth sciences David R. Montgomery cites two different theories for the salmon’s resiliency. He states that the prevailing notion is that the salmon survived in ice-free areas in the Columbia River Basin, as well as in California and other areas in Oregon. 

But today, the fact is salmon do in fact inhabit waters at the feet of calving glaciers in Alaska where the water can approach freezing temperatures. This has led some to suggest that salmon could have possibly survived farther north than previously thought. Due to the drastic increase in the size of the polar caps, sea level dropped by hundreds of feet, exposing more of North America’s continental shelf. Scientists argue that newer rivers that flowed across that expanse could have also provided a sanctuary. 

The importance of studying salmon’s past is becoming ever more applicable in today’s world, but in this case, the opposite extreme is the threat. Earth is undoubtedly warming. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2014 was the hottest year globally on record, and as far as 2015 goes, it appears the bar will be raised yet again.

 We know salmon were able to survive the freeze, but what will happen if their water begins to boil? Hyperbole aside, it still begs the question, how will the fish survive as river and ocean temperatures rise?

 Not very well it seems. Already, we are seeing major die offs in the rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest. In July 2015, the return of 500,000 sockeye salmon to Columbia River was marred by the deaths of about half that number, a quarter of a million salmon. They died because the water was too hot.

If you’re an avid skier you might know the reason. For the second year in a row, snowpack was abysmally lower than the norm in the Cascade Range. Thus, when the summer months rolled around and the fish began their trip back up the Columbia, there wasn’t any snowmelt runoff left to cool the river.

The fish mortality event wasn’t an isolated occurrence during Oregon’s summer either. Scientists reported the death of over one hundred spring Chinook in the Middle Fork of the John Day River, where the water reached seventy degree, swimming-pool-like temperatures.

 Is the resilience of the salmonid species finally reaching a breaking point? Or will they simply adapt as they have for millions of years and search for more ideal water, perhaps farther north. Matt Piche, the natural resources coordinator for the Native Village of Eyak in Cordova, Alaska says, “As waters warm, we’re starting to see Chinook salmon in areas we’ve never seen before, they’re starting to migrate north.” 

This could only be a temporary fix though; Alaska isn’t impervious to warming temperatures either. The Pleistocene was long and cold, but the Holocene epoch we find ourselves living is quickly becoming hot. Let’s hope the salmon can keep up.

Ben McBee     11.06.2015

anonymous asked:

Sir. I have to inform you, that you are cat.

What? WHAT?! But…if that’s true, why has no one told me before?! Do you know how many human friends I have? How many human schools I’ve been to? One of the first clauses in my contract with Syfy states, “The undersigned avows and acknowledges that he or she is human and/or homo sapiens and specifically not one of the following: hippopotamus, canine, bear, bear cat, cat, cat bear (a.k.a. panda), mouse, mouse bear (a.k.a. guinea pig), fox, large cat, feather, eel, Long Island eel, river cat (a.k.a. otter), born on or before January 1st, 1775, fox bear, potato, elephant, snail, cat butler, or any other type of whiskered feline-American”. I could lose my job for this! Couldn’t you have waited to tell me until I was lying on my death bed, with my many half-cat children about me? Now… I mean, I guess I can buy a tuxedo and become a butler… Might as well if I’m going to be released from my contract. Man, what a bummer… I’d like to think that all my friends and relations have been so proud of me this whole time, but I guess they were all just having a big laugh at my expense. It does explain why random people come up to me and say, “Awwwww, what a cute kitty!” all the time. I always thought they were just trying to be random. Dang.

Seriously, though, have my votes even counted the past few elections? Do feline-Americans have the right to vote? I mean, I feel like I should get to vote, but if I’m really a cat… I don’t know. This throws everything off. I don’t know what’s what anymore. I feel like gnawing on some tuna, or…salmon. Is that species-ist? Can I say things like that now that I’m a cat? Or, whatever, I guess I always have been… Wow.

Anyway, thanks for letting me know. Guess I’ll file that one away in the ol’ “identity” file… Man. Cat, huh? I mean, you’d know—it’s not like I can see my reflection in a mirror (though that’s for different reasons).