Sixty-eight marine mammals stranded on the Oregon beaches were examined at necropsy. Gunshot was the primary cause of death in 30% of the pinnipeds examined. Bacterial infections (27%) and parasitism (27%) were also of major importance in the death and debilitation of Oregon marine mammals. Traumatic death or debilitation other than gunshot was observed in 11 animals(16%). Predation, starvation due to neonatal abandonment, viral encephalitis (presumptive diagnosis), dystocia and neoplasia were diagnosed as primary or contributory causes of stranding.
This study was financed in part by grants from the Oregon State University Graduate School (1973-1975), the Oregon State University Research Council (1975-1976) and National Marine Fisheries Service, Marine Mammal Division Contract #577 (1976-1977).
Technical paper no. 4880 Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA.