Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Brown Pelicans Rocked by Algae Bloom

From Science Daily:
Every spring Southern California researchers prepare for the affects of Domoic Acid (DA), a naturally occurring toxin produced by microscopic algae. DA is a neurotoxin that causes seizures and death in seagoing birds and mammals. This spring, the algae bloom is the worst recorded with beaches “littered with dead birds, seals, dolphins, otters…”

The staff of the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) don’t yet understand why this year’s algae bloom is so aggressive, but with many birds, including the Brown Pelican entering mating season, it is especially worrisome.

Jay Holcomb, IBRRC’s director has many questions, but not enough answers. “I have been doing this work for 35 years and I have never seen anything like this as far as the number of species affected, other than an oil spill.”
The rest of the article resides here.

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