Headlines – News – Articles
8th December, 2010

Cat parasite threat to Hawaiian monk seals

Media Watch, Environmental Health News, 8 December 2010

On the beaches of the Hawaiian islands, monk seals are dying from a pathogen in cat feces that is carried to the ocean in polluted runoff and sewage. Experts worry that the disease, toxoplasmosis, will derail efforts to restore the endangered species. With only about 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals left in the wild, the deaths are “very concerning and put toxo as one of our primary concerns” for the species, says NOAA scientist Charles Littnan. Throughout most of Hawai`i, surface water quality ranges from “slightly impaired to severely impaired,” according to a state assessment. In particular, runoff from densely populated watersheds on Maui and O`ahu likely contains pathogens that infect the seals. […]

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