Marine birds in decline: Loss of small fish may be to blame

The Seattle Times | News, sports, weather, events in the Northwest

From white-winged scoters and surf scoters to long-tailed ducks, murres, loons and some seagulls, the number of everyday marine birds here has plummeted dramatically in recent decades. The reasons are often complex, but for many the loss of forage fish like herring might hold a clue. This article was on the front page of the Seattle Times on July 25, 2014. Read the full article. … [Read more...]

New protocol will enhance killer whale knowledge

Press release: July 7, 2014 Killer whale strandings are rare and tragic events, which is why it’s so important that scientists respond quickly and appropriately to collect as much data as possible. According to Dr. Joe Gaydos, Wildlife Veterinarian and Chief Scientists of UC Davis’s SeaDoc Society, “Every killer whale stranding represents an opportunity for researchers to learn more about the species. It’s important that we have a system to capture as much information as possible in each event.” A team of researchers from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the University of … [Read more...]

Increase in harbor porpoise strandings

The number of harbor porpoise strandings in May of 2014 was higher than usual (but not higher than the number in 2012). Joe Gaydos was quoted in the Journal of the San Juans: In fact, according to Dr. Joe Gaydos of the Orcas Island-based SeaDoc Society, spring is the time of year when harbor porpoise typically migrate en masse from the mouth of Juan de Fuca Strait into the heart of the Salish Sea and strandings are not uncommon at that time. Still, Gaydos, who will perform the early June necropsies, said the spate of strandings warrant examination to find out if an infectious disease … [Read more...]

Orcas High School senior class chooses SeaDoc for $2,500 donation


The senior class at Orcas High School awarded $2,500 to SeaDoc as part of the 2014 grants program of the Orcas Island Community Foundation. Each year a generous donor gives $5,000 to the graduating class at the high school for them to pass on to one or more non-profits; sort of a primer on philanthropy. The students discuss and debate which non-profits they would like to support. We were thrilled when seniors Lindsay Lancaster and Brigid Ehrmantrout named SeaDoc to receive a $2,500 donation to recognize not only our work protecting the marine environment but also our efforts to educate … [Read more...]

Canada, U.S. urged to unite efforts, focus on species at risk in Salish Sea

The number of species at risk has doubled over the past decade in the Salish Sea, generating calls for a special international body to co-ordinate research and conservation issues in the 17,000-square-kilometre area that includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound. Joe Gaydos, a wildlife veterinarian with the SeaDoc Society based in the San Juan Islands, said the latest scientific snapshot of species at risk in the Salish Sea should be a wake-up call to Canada and the U. S. to better co-ordinate their efforts. SeaDoc is a program of the University of California … [Read more...]

What killed orca L112?

killer whale necropsy photo by Sandy Buckley

What killed the 3-year-old killer whale that washed up in Southern Washington a couple of years ago? Joe Gaydos was one of 15 investigators who studied the whale to try to understand what happened to it. Their report was published February 25, 2014. Joe was quoted in the Associated Press article about the report: "This whale was killed from a blunt-force trauma, but [despite] every effort possible, we couldn't tell if it came from another ship or whale," said Joseph Gaydos, a co-author of the report and wildlife veterinarian with SeaDoc Society, a program of the Wildlife Health Center at … [Read more...]

KUOW: Mass Starfish Die-Off May Be Headed For Washington

Evasterias troschelii (sick)

John Ryan of KUOW reported on the efforts in the United States and Canada to understand a starfish die-off. “Every population has sick animals,” said SeaDoc Society wildlife veterinarian Joe Gaydos, on a boat off Orcas Island between research dives. “Are we just seeing sick animals because we’re looking for it, or is it an early sign of a large epidemic that may come through and wipe out a lot of animals?” The timing of this news coincided with SeaDoc's first year of monitoring subtidal fish and invertebrates at 10 sites in the San Juan Islands. This project, done in conjunction with … [Read more...]

Older news items

These news items are from before October of 2013. Habitat protection proposed for endangered rockfish in Puget Sound Kitsap Sun, August 6, 2013 Nearly 1,200 square miles of Puget Sound has been proposed as critical habitat for three endangered species of rockfish. Joe Gaydos is quoted as saying, "It is a joy to see [proposals like this] coming out because it means we are moving forward." He added, "To have both the federal and state groups working on this collaboratively is itself a small success story, because we don't always see things go this smoothly." Harbor porpoises now a … [Read more...]

Defenders of the Salish Sea

seadoc staff

This story first appeared in UC Davis Magazine, Volume 29 · Number 4 · Summer 2012 At a UC Davis outpost in the Pacific Northwest, wildlife veterinarians work to heal an ocean. By Alison Kent EASTSOUND, Wash. — "Watch out for the otter scat," warns UC Davis wildlife veterinarian Joe Gaydos, as he points to several tidy pink-crustacean-tinged piles on a dock. A glance over the edge of the dock reveals a world of anemones and algae swaying in the incoming tide. And overhead, a pair of courting bald eagles circles above the cedars in a gray February … [Read more...]