Wildlife Still Showing Signs of Red Tide Poisoning
June 21, 2021
As red tide (Karenia brevis) decreases along Southwest Florida’s coast, shorebirds and sea turtles are still showing ill effects of brevetoxins, though patient admissions to Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) are declining.
CROW reported admitting a brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) and a sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) in the past week, which are still being treated at the animal wildlife hospital. Two others, a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) died. SCCF staff reported no suspicious findings or deaths in the past week.
In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at low concentrations in Charlotte County, background to medium concentrations in Lee County, and background to medium concentrations in Collier County. One sample from Lee County and one sample from Collier County with bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed. Marine neurotoxins known as brevetoxins are produced by the dinoflagellate K. brevis.
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