Crescent City Harbor District & NMMC Staff Coordinate and Observe Marine Mammals
March 2, 2015
As part of our on-going work¬†observing and photo-documenting the recently injured CSL in the Crescent City Harbor, as coordinated by Dr. Dennis Wood, DVM and SA Tim Broadman, NOAA, NMMC staff today met and jointly observed pinnipeds with Crescent City Harbor District (CCHD) personnel. In the photo below CCHD Executive Secretary Nancy Suski points out an item of interest for volunteer Hospital Manager Janet Dickey and volunteer Animal Care Supervisor Marlana Garcia.
One of the perks of being a NMMC volunteer is being able to interact with static Grey Whale displays! Here our intrepid volunteers are seeing if this Grey Whale might be suitable for young visitor interactions if the whale gets¬†a permanent home outside our NMMC Gift Shop!
Crescent City CSLs Take Shark Bites
February 26, 2015
Dr. Dennis Wood and NOAA Western Regional Stranding Network Coordinator Justin Viezbicke, along with NOAA Law Enforcement officers out of Eureka, have been fielding a lot of calls from distressed members of the public lately. Several California Sea Lions have been observed in the Crescent City Harbor sporting small to very large bite marks consistent with shark bites. One of the three CSLs initially reported to Ralph Colliers “Shark Research Committee” webpage last week was found with a mortal wound, the other two have apparently survived. Yesterday the NOAA officer from Eureka was able to photograph the CSL with the largest wound actively swimming in the Crescent City harbor waters between floating docks set up for them by Harbormaster Charlie Helms. NOAA, the agency in charge of all marine mammals, per The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, stated that they have¬†seen many animals who, in the course of their natural lives in the oceans, have¬†become the targets of predators and afterwards have survived to live many productive years beyond the initial wounding. NOAA told us that some CSLs recovered from wounds that took an entire fin or even (phenomenally) a complete tail section. Our Crescent City CSLs are suffering from bites involving blubber and flesh, but no mortal injuries.¬†While in may be uncomfortable for the public to view these animals as they recover on their own in the wild from natural causes on introspection it may give us¬†more cause to respect the powers of healing generated by individual animals in our natural world.
The CSLs with shark bites are not candidates for rehab at the center. They are too large and NOAA guidelines preclude our becoming involved. If you have further questions regarding this case please contact NOAA’s Justin Viezbicke at 1-562-506-4315. He is the West Coast NOAA spokesman and will happily talk to you about any concerns you might have about these CSLs.
NMMC in the News: Mad River Union, Eureka Standard Tribune, and KMUD 88.1 FM Interview!
February 18, 2015
It’s been a busy week for the public affairs department at the NMMC!¬†This past week we were able to get two newspaper articles into the local Humboldt county press highlighting the plight of California Sea Lion pups (who are stranding in record numbers up and down the California coast this year).
While on a lunch break while¬†driving to Arcata to pick up Miranda’s Rescue’ donation of kennels, Volunteer Hospital Manager Janet Dickey, was called by KMUD FM’s Christina Aanestad, who did a quick interview for the evening news.
Find links to the Eureka Standard Times newspaper article and the KMUD interview below:
(Scroll to 16 Feb 15 evening news)
“New” Kennels Donated by Miranda’s Rescue
Miranda’s Rescue for Large and Small animals graciously donated to the NMMC this past week 8 wonderful kennels! They range in size from 39 pound to 18 pound kennels and are perfect for helping us to provide shelter for our pinnipeds in rehabilitation here at the NMMC or to take with us on beach rescues. This donation is particularly timely as we had lost several of our best plastic kennels while transfering animals to different locations, storm damage, etc.
If you don’t know about Miranda’s Rescue, run by Shannon Miranda in Fortuna, California, please follow the link below and also check out their great web site (and Facebook too)!
Northern Elephant Seal beaches near Samoa
February 17, 2015
Thanks to BM1 Jaime and the USCG men and women stationed at Humboldt Station for reporting a potentially stranded adult Northern Elephant Seal on the Samoa Spit this morning. See the attached photos to see this rare individual on our local beach!
It is rare to see a Northern Elephant Seal in this part of Northern California because there are so few rookeries and the adults usually travel only to the site where they were born to molt. Volunteer staff have theorized that perhaps this seal was blown off course from their pathway to their normal molting grounds by the recent storms or perhaps this animal was born locally. One thing is for sure, if this Northern Elephant Seal is molting it will be on the beach for a long stretch of time.
Please do not disturb this gentle giant. Remember it is a Federal offense to disturb a pinnped on the shore, that includes making noises that disturb them, coming closer than 500 feet, and/or letting dogs or kids under your supervision approach the animals.¬†
Compound Maintenance Starts!
February 14, 2015
With the rain letting up the last few days we have started into doing serious compound maintenance. After a couple days of the sun drying out weeks of rain it was finally time to start preparing and patching the compounds concrete structures. Last years Northern Elephant Seal Weaner stranding event, in which 29 NESW’s were residents at the NMMC, really broke up the compound! Literally. The mass of these big seals cracked many cement blocks, cracked pads, and weakened pens.
Happily for the NMMC and the seals the National Fish and Wildlife Federation (NFWF) in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration (NOAA) Stranding Network and the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Administrative Grant program is allowing us the funding to buy all the cement, caulking, and supplies we need. Our gracious thanks to NFWF and the Prescott Marine Mammal program for their support!!
See below for pictures of the compound we’re working on:
Making the Transfers at Orick — Stranding Coordinator meets with NMMC Hospital Director
February 9, 2015
Lynda Stockton, the NMMC’s long serving Stranding Coordinator has a tough job. Whenever anyone in the two counties of Del Norte and Humboldt call in a potentially injured pinniped it is Lynda who takes in all the information and alerts all NMMC volunteers. She coordinates the response effort and more often than not ends up driving to meet Del Norte volunteers for a ‘transfer’ at the Orick US Forest Service Headquarters building. In the photos below Lynda and Janet Dickey, Volunteer Hospital Director, are seen in the process of transferring a young CSL pup rescued from the freshwater lagoon by CPS Ranger Carrie.
Rescue Truck rehabilitated by Mr. Jeff Van Pelt’s Del Norte High School Autoshop Class
February 3, 2015
Our faithfull NMMC Rescue Truck, an early 2000 vintage 4WD Dodge Ram, developed problems with its automatic transmission lines late last year. Luckily noone was injured during the rescues and driving that took place before getting the truck into Dr. Dodge, aka Mr. Jeff Van Pelt, and his highly motivated advanced autoshop class at Del Norte High School. The truck apparently was suffering from exposure! Jeff said that simply being out in the elements led to lines corroding and then breaking. His solution? Use brass fittings that will not rust in the future! On behalf of the seals the rescue truck will be able to respond to this year a tremendous NMMC Thank You Del Norte High School and Mr. Jeff Van Pelt!
Wags and Menace Foundation leads to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant Award!
The Wags and Menace Foundation’s kind support during the mass Northern Elephant Seal Weaner stranding event of 2014 (29 weaners responded to!) led directly to the NMMC applying for and getting notification today of our approval for a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation emergency funding grant!
Since¬†Wags and Menace, led by Director Cindy Lee, allowed us to literally put tons of fish into happy growing elephant seals for their rehabilitation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has seen fit to further fund the Hospital and Care costs the center incurred during this period. In addition, volunteers will have the funding to purchase the materials needed to repair compound cement and fencing damage, make electrical pump repairs, and maintain the NMMC Rescue Truck as needed.
2014 Run for the Seals 5k & 10K Registration Open
August 12, 2014