- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) - A new report finds that a wasting disease that killed millions of sea stars along the West Coast has had devastating impacts on certain sea star species in the Salish Sea.

Sunflower sea stars, which live below the low tide line, were once abundant throughout the Salish Sea. But diver surveys show that species has mostly disappeared from the regional landscape after sea star wasting disease broke out in 2013.

Researchers analyzed data that scientific and trained recreational divers collected during surveys in the marine waters that straddles the U.S and Canada and includes Puget Sound.

Scientists with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s SeaDoc Society and Cornell University did the analysis, which was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.

Other sea star species, including spiny pink star, also declined. Less common leather star and sea urchins that are eaten by sea stars increased after 2013.

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