[ti:Fast-Spreading Sea Urchins Destroying Sea Life in California, Oregon] [by:www.knnrug.live] [00:00.00]更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM [00:00.04]Scientists say fast-spreading sea urchins have eaten away [00:06.28]at huge underwater kelp forests in California and Oregon. [00:14.32]The invasion by tens of millions of the sea creatures [00:18.76]is causing the destruction of important forms of sea life. [00:25.52]A recent count found 350 million purple sea urchins on one Oregon reef alone. [00:34.60]That is more than a 10,000 percent increase since 2014. [00:42.40]In Northern California, 90 percent of large kelp forests have been swallowed up by the urchins. [00:52.84]Scientists have reported finding so-called "urchin barrens," [00:58.15]or huge stretches of the seafloor that contain nothing but sea urchins. [01:06.00]Such growth has spread from California to waters off the state of Oregon, [01:12.00]where kelp forests were once so thick that boats had trouble passing through. [01:19.88]Scott Groth is a shellfish scientist with Oregon's Department of Fish and Wildlife. [01:28.32]"We're in uncharted territory," he told The Associated Press. [01:34.64]"You can't just go out and smash them. There's too many. I don't know what we can do." [01:42.80]The explosion of purple sea urchins is one of the many problems [01:48.37]now facing the Pacific Northwest's ocean environment. [01:54.52]Kelp has already been struggling because of warmer-than-usual waters in the Pacific Ocean. [02:02.68]In 2013, a mysterious disease began destroying tens of millions of starfish. [02:11.40]One starfish species, called the sunflower sea star, [02:16.24]is the only known creature that seeks to feed on the purple sea urchin. [02:23.08]Also around 2013, the purple urchins had two very good mating years. [02:30.25]With no animals feeding on the urchins, their numbers continued to grow. [02:38.00]Steve Rumrill is a shellfish expert at Oregon's wildlife agency. [02:44.41]He told the AP the huge growth is being driven by starvation. [02:50.96]"You can imagine all of these small urchins growing up, [02:55.27]each one of them looking for food, desperate for food," he said. [03:02.08]Rumrill added that while he has seen major population changes in sea urchins before, [03:09.29]nothing comes close to the latest explosion. [03:14.56]Scientists say they are not yet sure if climate change is to blame. [03:20.24]But they suspect it did play a part in the events [03:24.79]that helped the purple urchins spread so quickly and widely. [03:31.44]Norah Eddy is a director at the Nature Conservancy California's oceans program. [03:38.76]She gave another reason for the explosion. [03:42.55]She said the area's kelp, which has already been weakened by warming waters, [03:48.96]is not able to regrow itself as well as in the past. [03:55.16]"We're going to see climate change as a big driver of changes in kelp forests [04:01.07]as we move forward, and we are already seeing that," Eddy told the AP. [04:08.96]She is leading an effort to use drones to map [04:12.56]and observe Northern California's remaining kelp forests. [04:18.96]The destruction is also having economic effects. [04:22.69]Until now, red abalone and red sea urchins, a larger and meatier species of urchin, [04:31.15]supported strong fishing businesses in California and Oregon. [04:38.04]A study released this week by the University of California, Davis found [04:43.52]that 96 percent of red abalone had disappeared from California's northern coast. [04:51.88]Last year, California closed its red abalone fishery, [04:56.49]which had brought an estimated $44 million into the coastal economy every year. [05:04.52]In Oregon, officials suspended permits for its 300 abalone divers for three years. [05:12.90]I'm Bryan Lynn. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM 11运夺金走势图遗漏