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Coastal Sea Stars Teeter On Edge Of Extinction

Janna Nichols/REEF via UC Davis

The human pandemic can make us forget that diseases can move like wildfire through other animal populations.

That's what happened to sea stars ("starfish") on the West Coast several years ago. Sea Star Wasting Syndrome made the animals dissolve over a short period of time.

There's been some comeback among some species of sea stars, but the Sunflower Sea Star is now considered critically endangered.

Research from Oregon State University played a role in the designation; marine ecologist Sarah Gravem from OSU's Department of Integrative Biology talks to us about the animal's fate.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.