Studying the Effects of Sea Star Wasting (July 7, 2015)

An Ochre sea star found at Otter Rock Marine Reserve with wasting syndromeSea star wasting syndrome is a mysterious disease that has had a large effect on many sea star species along the west coast of the United States. This disease causes lesions and decaying of the sea star body, ultimately resulting in death. Many species of sea stars in both intertidal and subtidal areas off of the Oregon Coast are dying due to a recent disease outbreak. Because of an increase in disease, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is helping to monitor rocky intertidal and subtidal areas starting this summer. On July 2nd, a team from ODFW’s Marine Reserves Program went out to Otter Rock Marine Reserve and completed two different surveys on the density and disease severity of sea stars in the area. The same surveys were completed at Cascade Head Marine Reserve on July 6th. This effort will help to monitor the long term effects on sea star species and to understand the distribution of the disease along the Oregon coast.

To find out more about sea star wasting syndrome, visit: http://www.eeb.ucsc.edu/pacificrockyintertidal/data-products/sea-star-wasting/

ODFW intern Sara Reese measuring a sea star found at Otter Rock Marine Reserve

 

 

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