Manatee deaths in Florida – red tide? – 04/04/2007

  • November 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm #1447

    from rocky:,4670,ManateeDeaths,00.html

    Red Tide Suspected in Manatee Deaths
    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — State officials suspect red tide may have killed some of the 26 manatees found dead in the Fort Myers area over the past two weeks.

    Red tide is caused by a bloom of the alga Karenia brevis, which contains a powerful toxin that can kill fish and other marine life. When manatees come up for air, they inhale the toxin at the water’s surface.

    They also eat seagrasses that can absorb the toxin.

    Forty manatees have died in the Lee County area since the beginning of 2006. Last year, 417 manatee deaths were recorded statewide, the worst year on record.

    Scientists are awaiting results from toxin analyses to know for certain if red tide killed the manatees, said Wendy Quigley, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    Other major causes of death for the endangered animals include boat injuries, cold stress and natural causes.

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