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Authorities in Oregon have begun to euthanize sea lions whose greed threat of extinction to a species of trout in a river this State from the north-west of the United States.
California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) normally live on the coast, at several tens of kilometres of Willamette Falls, south of Portland. But by going up the rivers in pursuit of fish which they love, some they have found that they could easily feast on trout arc-en-ciel (Oncorhynchus mykiss) that congregate near these waterfalls.
According to marine biologists, the sea lions are literally passed the word and now threaten the survival of these trout, which reach adulthood in the Pacific ocean, but return to lay on the place of their birth, such as salmon.
“Since the 1990s, the sea lions have consumed tens of thousands of migratory fish, many of which belong to endangered species, and protected at the federal level “, explains on its website, the Department of wildlife and fisheries of Oregon.
Some winters, only a few hundred trout rainbow wild survive to Willamette Falls, which can threaten the survival of the species.
Barriers, cartridges, explosive scare, relocation by truck on the beaches of the Pacific: none of the measures implemented by the local authorities have managed to keep away from the site of the sea lions, who did not usually more than a few days to get back to it.
Oregon has asked the federal government for permission to euthanize the troublemakers, which was granted in December.
The removal of sea lions at Willamette Falls is, however, very framed, because they are themselves a protected species, which had almost disappeared because of hunting. Its population is now approaching 300, 000 individuals on the west coast of the United States.
Oregon has been authorized to euthanize up to 93 sea lions per year at Willamette Falls, but according to Bryan Wright, head of the Department of wildlife quoted by the State tv, only forty of them should be eliminated by the month of may.