Offering a partial explanation to a mysterious decline in Southern Sea Otter population, California Sea Grant researchers have established a strong body of circumstantial evidence linking cats to a lethal otter disease. University of California at Davis professor Patricia Conrad and doctoral student Melissa Miller, both in the School of Veterinary Medicine, have shown that otters near heavy freshwater flows are three times more likely to have been infected by Toxoplasma gondii - a potentially lethal parasitic protozoan that causes brain infections in otters - than otters from areas where runoff is light.
The above story is based on materials provided by National Sea Grant College Program. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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National Sea Grant College Program. "Parasite In Cats Killing Sea Otters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021223084339.htm>.
National Sea Grant College Program. (2002, December 23). Parasite In Cats Killing Sea Otters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021223084339.htm
National Sea Grant College Program. "Parasite In Cats Killing Sea Otters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021223084339.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).