Extinction Alert: “5.7B Sunflower Sea Stars Have Died In Past Decade”

“The loss represents decline of just over 90%”

“New research shows that more than 90 per cent of sunflower sea stars off the West Coast have died over the past decade, and the species is close to extinction.

The study, led by Oregon State University, the Nature Conservancy and over 60 partner institutions led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, estimates that as many as 5.75 billion sunflower sea stars have died since 2013. The loss represents a 90.5 per cent decline.

Alyssa Gehman, a postdoctoral researcher at the Hakai Institute and the University of British Columbia (both partner institutions on the study), says the die-out has put the sunflower sea star on the critically endangered list — one step away from extinction.”

Roshini Nair reports for CBC News December 16, 2020.