Posted by Eric Frasco on March 07, 2001 at 12:31:50:
In Reply to: What's withering foot disease? posted by Jonah on March 06, 2001 at 23:49:02:
Withering foot syndrome is an abalone disease that causes the foot (essentially what keeps the ab anchored to the rock) to weaken and atrophy, then wither away to essentially nothing. The ab falls off or is easily removed from the rock by predators. As close as any of the experts can tell, it appears to be caused by a rickettsial type of bacterium. The bad news is that it has killed off a lot of abs.
The good news is that it appears to have run its course. From what I've heard it is believed by marine biologists to be in the natural cycle of things - that is to say that occaisionally a disease will come along and kill of the weaker members and leave the stronger, disease resistant members of the population.
The possibility of a devastating disease (or oil spill, or etc.), especially after over predation by humans, is a good example of why we need marine reserves that do not allow the take of any game.
Another problem has been the Sabellid Worm
This information is mostly from 1998.
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