May 23, 2013 Focusing on Wildlife
It sounds ludicrous, but it could just be true: scientists say seagulls may be responsible for hundreds of southern right whale moralities off the Argentine coastline. Since 2003, scientists have documented the deaths of 605 southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) near Península Valdés which the whales use as a nursery. Notably, 88 percent of these were newborn calves. The death rate is so high that researchers now fear for the whales’ long-term survival.
Scientists now hypothesize that kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus) may be behind the high death rate, since the gulls repeatedly land on southern right whales pecking at them to tear off chunks of skin and blubber for food.,, “The attacks are very painful and cause large, deep lesions, particularly on the backs of young 2-6 week-old calves. ,,, http://focusingonwildlife.com/news/are-seagulls-killing-whales-in-patagonia/