Tuesday, August 7, 2018

8/7 BC bats, orcas need food, saving J50, Trudeau in BC, strait swim scrapped, dead blue whale

Yuma Myotis bat [Michael Durham]
Metro Vancouver braces for 'extreme' impact of white nose syndrome on bats
When the sun goes down, Burvilla comes alive. Look up at the roof of the 1905-era heritage home at Deas Island Regional Park in Ladner and watch as one set of tiny leathery wings after another squeezes out from the wood slats in the upper attic and takes flight.... Burvilla is home to about 1,900 pregnant females — little brown and Yuma bats — that arrive in spring to give birth, rising to more than 3,250 bats with their young. “It’s the biggest colony that we know of in B.C.,” said Robyn Worcester, a natural resource specialist with Metro Vancouver. “They’re an incredible resource in this park.” The bats weigh just five to seven grams apiece, but they are gluttons, with agriculture being one of the major beneficiaries. A lactating female bat consumes her body weight in insects every night. That’s a total of about 13 kilograms of insects consumed daily at Burvilla alone. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Scientists Working On Orca Recovery Not Surprised By Recent Tragedies
A multitude of factors are harming Puget Sound’s local population of endangered orcas: water pollution, noise, loss of habitat. But topping that list right now for many scientists is recovery of their primary food source: Chinook salmon.... They say they established years ago that when Chinook salmon are scarce, local orcas become sick and unable to effectively reproduce. “This is just a really conspicuous example of it,” said Sam Wasser, who directs the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington. He’s part of a team of scientists that has done DNA and hormone analysis of orca scat collected by sniffer dogs. They’ve proved that when pregnant orcas are low on food and start metabolizing their blubber, toxins are released into their bloodstream that cause them to miscarry. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Feeding a wild orca: Inside the practice run to save the ailing killer whale J50
The Lummi Nation launched a practice run to feed a starving young orca in the wild. The orca is in the same southern-resident orca pod as J35, or Tahlequa, the female who had refused to let go of her calf that died shortly after birth. ABOARD THE LENGESOT — Jay Julius held on tight to the thrashing silver fish, precious food for an ailing orca he considers a relative. Chinooks, served alive, are part of a rescue plan in the making for J50, a member of the critically endangered clan of southern-resident orcas. For the Lummi Nation, the orca, also know as the blackfish, are family members, their relatives under the sea. And so for Julius, chairman of the Lummi Nation, this practice run Monday to procure food for the starving 4-year-old orca is a part of the Lummi Nation’s schelangen, or sacred obligation. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Veterinarians grapple with how to save young orca: salmon laced with meds or syringe   ....The tactic with the syringe pole is being prioritized over another option where biologists would hand-feed the orca, known as J50, with live salmon laced with medicine. This is contingent on a boat crew being able to get close to the 4-year-old female, who has not been seen since late last week. (NW News Network) And also: ‘Skinny whales around the world’: Is intervention for J-50 too little, too late?  Giuliana Viglione and Alison Morrow report. (KING)

Anti-pipeline protesters dog Justin Trudeau on his B.C. long weekend tour
Drum beats and chanting followed Justin Trudeau to Delta on Sunday, as anti-pipeline protesters attempted to disrupt the prime minister’s speech at a Liberal Party of Canada community barbecue. Like several other stops on the prime minister’s long weekend trip to B.C., the protesters appeared at a planned appearance by Trudeau with signs and placards denouncing the Trans Mountain pipeline. (Canadian Press)

Wind, fog, currents splash swimmer’s Strait attempt
Strong currents combined with wind and fog ended Michelle Macy’s attempt at swimming across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Monday, about 2 miles from shore. Macy, a consultant from Portland, Ore., left Freshwater Bay at 7:10 a.m. Monday, bound for Beachy Head on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, but came about 1½ miles short as currents caused her to drift east toward Victoria. She was pulled out of the water at 2:31 p.m. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Japan blue whale: Rare dead calf washed ashore on beach
A dead blue whale calf has been found washed ashore in Japan - the first time that the rare species has been seen in the country, experts say. The carcass was discovered on Sunday at a beach in Kamakura, a city 70km (43 miles) south of Tokyo, on Japan's southern coast. Blue whales are the largest of all animals. They can grow to 30m (98ft) in length and weigh up to 170 tons. The cause of the whale calf's death is not yet known. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  230 AM PDT Tue Aug 7 2018   

TODAY  Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 2 ft or less in the afternoon. W  swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  4 ft at 8 seconds.

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