A few years ago, the starfish population across the US West Coast suffered a massive drop in numbers due to a mysterious syndrome which hit them. Now, the environmental authorities have observed how the creatures are slowly starting to regain their numbers.
Starfish populations have started recovering
Between 2013 and 2014, the starfish populations spreading from Mexico to British Columbia were struck by a terrible disease, called the sea star wasting syndrome. This contributed to their sudden decline, and it seemed almost impossible for them to ever regain their numbers. However, a miracle happened.
Several people and environment supporters were amazed to discover an abounding number of starfish around southern California. The areas with the highest number of creatures were Long Beach, Crystal Cove State Beach, and Palos Verdes.
The syndrome caused the starfish to disintegrate
The wasting syndrome was so aggressive that it was impossible for the infected starfish to survive. The condition caused them to develop severe injuries, which quickly turned their limbs mushy. Soon afterwards, they fell off. This wasn’t the first time when a similar condition struck the creatures, but never before did such a huge number get affected.
At first, the epidemic affected the ochre populations living around Washington. Then, it spread to most starfish species in the area, and started going south. The syndrome left a desolating landscape behind, as people could see the limbs of the creatures floating around, or disintegrated pieces of their bodies getting stuck on stones.
The syndrome attacked the creatures like a ghost, without any clear cause. However, researchers assumed it was a bacterial infection. A similar event attacked the East Coast as well, and the analyses revealed it was caused by a virus. They thought the same virus reached the West Coast, too, but they couldn’t explain how that had happened.
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