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Whales are dying, but numbers are unknown. Coronavirus has stalled scientific fieldwork

Los Angeles Times – March 28, 2020

As gray whales began their northern migration along the Pacific coast, earlier this month — after a year of unusually heavy die-offs — scientists were poised to watch, ready to collect information that could help them learn what was killing them.  The coronavirus outbreak, however, has largely upended that field work — and that of incalculable other ecological studies nationwide.

…“The biggest challenge we’re facing is the planning for the unknown. So many ‘what ifs’ need to be considered,” Heather Burdick, director of marine operations at the Bay Foundation, said Wednesday.  The Bay Foundation, a research nonprofit, is usually out on the water several times weekly to restore kelp and feed the endangered species that scientists have been trying to reintroduce into the ocean.  “Our team … call today was focused on contingency plans for contingency plans,” she said. …READ MORE