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Collaboration Identifies Additional Threat to Endangered Seal Species

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service conservationists are looking into why Hawaiian Monk seal numbers continue to decline despite their best efforts and asked NOS scientists to test for evidence of what might be ailing the animals. Using state-of-the-art analytical methods, the researchers discovered that nearly 20 percent of the samples taken from free-ranging monk seals […]

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NOAA and Partners Prepare to ‘Raise the Bar’ in Wildlife Forensics

Wildlife forensics experts from NOAA, the Society for Wildlife Forensic Sciences, and other organizations convened last week at NOAA’s Marine Forensics Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, for the inaugural meeting of the Scientific Working Group for Wildlife Forensics (SWG-WILD). The experts established the SWG (pronounced “swig”) in response to a 2009 report from the National […]

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Making Waves: Powerful Fish-Killing Toxin May Lead to Human Health Benefits (Episode 36)

In 2002, a mysterious disease began killing fish at a commercial aquaculture facility in North Carolina. Lots of fish. Over 21,000 striped bass died during the outbreak. At the time, no one knew what caused this massive fish kill. Why did it happen? Would it happen again? We now know that the culprit behind the […]

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Tropical Fungus Range Expands into Northern Waters

In August 2008, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin was found dead on the North Carolina coast, its skin cracked and ulcerated with an alarming growth of gray and white nodules. This dolphin was confirmed as having lobomycosis, the first confirmed case in North Carolina waters of this chronic fungal skin infection. Reports of this type of […]

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Northward Creep of Tropical Disease Another Consequence of Climate Change?

Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, working with NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response researchers, identified multiple cases of lobomycosis in stranded and live, free-swimming bottlenose dolphins from coastal North Carolina. Lobomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of the skin and, until now, only been reported in people and dolphins […]

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Immune Suppression of Dolphins Associated with Lobomycosis Disease Provides New Insight for Marine Animal Health Managers

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science researchers, examining immune markers in wild dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon, FL diagnosed with lobomycosis during 2003-2005, compared to those without lobomycosis, found that diseased dolphins suffer from severe immunosuppression in their adaptive immunity responses. Lobomycosis (lacaziosis) is a chronic granulomatous disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue […]

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Wildlife Protection Law Training Underscores Value of Marine Forensic Analyses

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) researchers collaborated with attorneys and federal agents to study how the forensics capabilities at NCCOS are applied to uphold U.S. wildlife protection laws. Training provided in legal interpretation of the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Lacey Act will greatly enhance our application of molecular forensics […]

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