March 9, 2010


World's Largest Dead Zone Suffocating Sea

. . . But there is a new danger to the eagle and many other marine species: An explosion of microscopic algae called phytoplankton has inundated the Baltic's sensitive waters, sucking up oxygen and choking aquatic life.

Though a natural phenomenon at a smaller scale, these blooms have recently mushroomed at an alarming rate, fed by nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen from agricultural fertilizers and sewage. When it rains, farm fertilizers are washed into the sea. Sewage-treatment facilities also discharge waste into the Baltic ecosystem.

As a result, the Baltic is now home to seven of the of the world's ten largest marine "dead zones"—areas where the sea's oxygen has been used up by seabed bacteria that decompose the raining mass of dead algae.

National Geographic News -
05 Mar 2010
J Owen
Photo credit: Jeff Schmaltz, NASA


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Growing low-oxygen zones in oceans worry scientists

Popular Nanoparticle Causes Toxicity in Fish, Study Shows

A nanoparticle growing in popularity as a bactericidal agent has been shown to be toxic to fish, according to a Purdue University study.

Tested on fathead minnows -- an organism often used to test the effects of toxicity on aquatic life -- nanosilver suspended in solution proved toxic and even lethal to the minnows.

When the nanosilver was allowed to settle, the solution became several times less toxic but still caused malformations in the minnows.

Reported Wildlife Mortality Events to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center Updated

USGS and a network of partners across the country work on documenting wildlife mortality events in order to provide timely and accurate information on locations, species and causes of death. This information was updated on March 08, 2010 on the USGS National Wildlife Health Center web page, New and Ongoing Wildlife Mortality Events Nationwide. Quarterly Mortality Reports are also available from this page. These reports go back to 1995.

USGS National Wildlife Health Center
08 March 2010
Area: United States

>>>Updated Wildlife Mortality Event Table

Photo credit: Pierre De Wit

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