November 1, 2010


Atlantic Sea Turtle Population Threatened by Egg Infection

An international team of mycologists and ecologists studying Atlantic sea turtles at Cape Verde have discovered that the species is under threat from a fungal infection which targets eggs.

The research, published in FEMS Microbiology Letters, reveals how the fungus Fusarium solani may have played a key role in the 30-year decline in turtle numbers.

. . . "While many of the reasons for this are related to the human impact of the costal environment it has been suspected that the decline is also due to pathogenic microorganisms."

Science Daily -
29 Oct 2010
Photo credit: J White/iStockphoto

Spike in dolphin deaths officially an ‘Unusual Mortality Event’

. . . According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 19 dolphin strandings have occurred from early June to mid September — a striking leap from the average.

Erin Fougeres, a marine mammal biologist with NOAA, says that it’s likely not mere coincidence that the dolphin strandings occurred in unison with a massive fish kill in the same area:

”There are a couple of things that could be happening. The strandings occurred around the same time as a fish kill, so they could be related, or it could be another factor."

Florida Independent -
V Chamlee
28 Oct 2010
Location: St. Johns River, Florida, USA - Map It

Kearl site workers discover dead ducks

More dead ducks were found in an oilsands site, this time at Imperial Oil's Kearl project, the company said this morning.

Workers found about 10 ducks at its construction site Tuesday afternoon, said spokesman Pius Rolheiser.

. . . Between 10 and 20 birds were also found alive but in distress, he added. Of the dead birds, none were covered in oil as the site in construction has no tailings pond.

Fort McMurray Today -
S Lin
29 Oct 2010
Location: Kearl Lake, Alberta, Canada - Map It

Fighting conchs invade Bonita Beach

. . . Hundreds of the dead and dying conchs have littered the shores of the beach during low tide over the past few days, grabbing the attention of tourists and researches alike.

. . . Scientists are testing water off the beach, trying to determine what is causing the conchs to get stranded.

. . . Segelson said her agency will test the water for a possible algae bloom but declined to speculate further.

Naples Daily News -
S Bhasin
27 Oct 2010
Photo credit: S Bhasin
Location: Bonita Beach, Florida, USA - Map It

Research proves ‘gender-bending’ chemicals affect reproduction

New research has provided the first evidence that 'gender-bending' chemicals which find their way from human products into rivers and oceans can have a significant impact on the ability of fish to breed in UK Rivers.

. . . EDCs have been seeping into rivers through the sewage system for decades and have an observed effect on fish, altering male biology to make them more female -- hence the 'gender bending' reputation of these chemicals.

Until now, there has been no solid evidence to show the long-term impact of this effect on fish in the wild -- but the new research focusing on wild roach in two UK rivers (Bourne and Arun) has provided new evidence.

University of Exeter -
26 Oct 2010
Photo courtesy of University of Exeter

Journal Article Cited

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