(ST) – From Baja California to Puget Sound, scientists are seeing signs that gray whales are in distress. And they have no idea why. Thirty-one dead gray whales have been spotted along the West Coast since January, the most for this time of year since 2000, when 86 whales died. Dozens more have shown visible signs of malnourishment, and sightings of mother-calf pairs are down sharply. The gray whale

death toll will probably climb through May as the animals continue their annual migration from their warm breeding lagoons in Mexico to their icy feeding grounds in the Arctic, said Justin Greenman, the assistant coordinator of stranded marine mammal response in California for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Experts said that, with about 27,000 gray whales thriving around the world, this year’s deaths probably don’t present a serious threat to the species. But the casualties can’t be ignored, either. READ MORE


The Seattle Times is a daily newspaper serving Seattle, Washington, United States. It has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the state of Washington and in the Pacific Northwest region. The newspaper was founded in 1891 and has been controlled by the Blethen family since 1896.