Florida manatee deaths skyrocket as blue-green algae accelerate food depletion | Florida

Environmental group Florida The death toll of an unusually large number of manatees in the first five months of the year warns that an outbreak of algae that contaminates and destroys food sources could threaten the long-term future of this species. doing.

TheĀ· 749 dead Authorities said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recorded more than 637 records on May 21 from 2020 as a whole. The total is on the course to exceed the 804 highs set in 2018.

Starvation occurs when a significant portion of seagrass, the preferred food source for slow-moving aquatic mammals, withers.The situation is getting worse due to the recurrence of the inland area Blue-green blue-green Phytoplankton blooms in Florida waterways.

Recent toxic wastewater leaks and discharges from abandoned areas offshore to Tampa Bay Piny Point Fertilizer Factory Return with Red tide algae threat Poisoned the water. According to the FWC, 12 manatees have died so far this year Confirmed or suspected red tide bloomsHowever, not all dead manatees have been autopsied, so the actual numbers can be much higher.

According to the St. Johns River Water Management District, 58% of seagrass has disappeared since 2009 in the 150-mile Indian River Lagoon, an inland estuary visited annually by one-third of the estimated remaining 7,500 manatees. ..

Authorities say nutrient spills, especially too much nitrogen and phosphorus, can completely kill seagrass or form flowers that block sunlight.

“Most of the former 80,000 acres of seagrass in the Indian River Lagoon was lost by a series of harmful blue-green algae caused by decades of human nutrient pollution from wastewater and an unabated spill to this day. Former Governor of Florida Save manateesSaid in the editorial Release According to Tampa Bay Times.

Meanwhile, the Biodiversity Center (CBD) March study Over 55% of the manatees tested contained trace amounts of pesticides.

“Our beloved chubby dugong avoids boat strikes, rewinds from red tides, and is starving in the Indian River Lagoon for water pollution,” said Jacqueline Lopez, Florida’s CBD director. “Adding chronic glyphosate exposure to the list of factors that threaten manatee survival is painful

According to Graham, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) “dropped the ball” in 2019. changed Conservation status of manatees from endangered to endangered.

“They are endangered because of the opposition of scientists and thousands of Americans who listened to anti-manatee groups and realized that the future of manatees is unsafe but could actually be worse. We removed manatees from the species list prematurely, “he said.

“We need to acknowledge the mistake and relist the manatees as endangered,” the FWS said.

Two MPs, Stephanie Murphy of the Democratic Party and Brian Mast of the Republican Party, Increase federal funding To protect manatees.

A Intense editorial Earlier this month, in Orlando Sentinel, he accused Florida politicians of increasing manatee deaths due to “contempt for the environment” and attacked former US Senator Rick Scott. Reduction of environmental budget When in the office.

Florida manatee deaths skyrocket as blue-green algae accelerate food depletion | Florida

Source link Florida manatee deaths skyrocket as blue-green algae accelerate food depletion | Florida

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