Climate Change Displaces Sea Elephants to the Coasts of the United States

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Mexico, 03/26/2019 (El Pueblo en Línea) – Experts from the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico have studied the impact of the increase in temperature. This has caused that the elephant seals of the north that live in Mexican territory move towards the coasts of the United States, emphasizes The Informer.

Such is the case of the specimens of this species found in the San Benito Islands in the Pacific Ocean, where according to recent studies there has been a decline in the population of the colonies in the last 25 years.

Derived from the “Study of Climate Change and its Impact on Marine Fauna”, by the scientist Fernando Elorriaga-Verplancken, attached to the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine Sciences, it was learned that the elephant seal, also known as elephant seal, suffers from an effect of hyperthermia (overheating).

This situation is due to the increasingly warm environment on islands where these animals arrive in winter each year to reproduce, and in spring and summer to change the coat.

At present, a population of 22 thousand elephant seals of the north along the Pacific coast is estimated in Baja California Sur, specifically, in the Guadalupe, San Benito and Cedros Islands, declared Protected Natural Areas, by the Secretariat the Environment and Natural Resources.

According to the research, published in the specialized journal Plos One (2018) “in recent decades, when elephant seals migrate back from their feeding areas of the North Pacific (Alaska) to the breeding and molting regions, they are opting to stay in the islands of southern California (United States), instead of continuing their trip to the Mexican islands. “

Climate Change Displaces Sea Elephants to the Coasts of the United States

A northern elephant seal male female and pup

The change of behavior of marine animals is due to the increase of 2 to 3 degrees Celsius of temperature in the Mexican coasts, because they overheat easily when on land, because of their thick layers of fat, which is useful for icy environments of the Pacific North, but it could be a cause of hyperthermia stress in very hot environments.

In the early 1990s, elephant seal colonies in Mexico had approximately 25 percent of total births, currently contributing only approximately 11 percent.

 

Source: Spanish People Daily