Sunflower sea stars certified as ‘critically endangered’ by international organization

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The magnificent sunflower sea stars, pushed to the edge of extinction by sea star wasting disease, have been declared a “critically endangered species” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The listing, announced yesterday, is supported by new studies that show a 90-percent decline in the overall population of sunflower stars. The species (Pycnopodia helianthoides) has been essentially wiped out in Oregon and California, with numbers greatly diminished from Puget Sound to Alaska. Ecologists say sea stars are a key component of the complex marine food web. Among other […]