From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
Each day, dog crates with sick sea lions arrive here and at four other locations from San Luis Obispo to Fort Bragg in what’s alarmingly become a third year of massive sea lion pup dieoffs. And if the trend continues, marine biologists warn, it could deplete an entire generation of California sea lions. One desperate and hungry pup was found Wednesday beside busy Skyline Boulevard in San Francisco, more than 1,000 feet from the ocean.
Scientists say changes in the coastal California Current have pushed fish populations further from the sea lion rookeries in the Channel Islands, where the pups are born around June. And the diminishing number of sardines and anchovies have forced nursing mothers to switch to rockfish and squid. These changes are believed to have contributed to a lower quality of milk and higher number of malnourished pups.
“These pups should still be nursing. They don’t have the skills to catch food on their own,” said Shawn Johnson, director of the center’s veterinary science department....