14 Oct '11, 4am

Mysterious Disease Spreading Among Arctic Seals

Mysterious Disease Spreading Among Arctic Seals

Beginning last July, officials from Alaska's Department of Wildlife Management began receiving reports of ringed seals showing signs of a mysterious, lesion-causing disease that has so far killed dozens of animals and inflicted possibly hundreds more -- and the illness shows no signs of slowing. Biologists are approaching the situation with particular concern considering the vital role the seals play in an arctic food-chain, one that's already under pressure from melting sea ice -- leading some to worry about the disease's potential impact on the region as a whole. According to a report from the Alaska Dispatch , biologists were first tipped to the presence of an unknown disease spreading among ringed seals last summer. The animals, which typically spend their time at sea or on floating sea ice, have begun wandering ashore in droves along the rocky arctic coastline appeari...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/10/mysterious-diseas...

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