Posts tagged North America
Florida’s Red Tides and Their Impacts on Sea Turtles

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have occurred on Florida’s west coast for centuries, with the first documented report of the HAB known as a red tide in 1844. Although many different organisms can cause HABs, the red tide that commonly affects the Gulf Coast of Florida is caused by a single-celled dinoflagellate known as Karenia brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve and Ptychodiscus brevis), which can turn waters reddish-brown when its concentrations are elevated. When winds, currents, salinity, and temperatures are ideal for algal transport and growth, the cells can be concentrated and proliferate into what are known as blooms. Although natural biogeochemical cycles contribute to the presence of HABs, it is possible that anthropogenic influences, including industrial and agricultural runoff (e.g., fertilizers and phosphate mining wastes), and increased ocean temperatures are resulting in an amplification of the frequency, duration, and range of harmful algal blooms.

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The Conservation Status of the Kemp's Ridley Worldwide

The Kemp’s ridley is a signature species for the Gulf of Mexico, and it has become an icon for conservation. Its story includes a long-term international conservation effort, undertaken by Mexico and the United States, which brought the species back from the brink of extinction. A recently completed IUCN Red List assessment not only evaluated the Kemp’s ridley’s current conservation status but also provided a rare glimpse into the history of a critically endangered species prior to its decline.

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Michoacán's Black Turtle: Back from the Brink

Located halfway between the resort cities of Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, the coastline of Michoacán is comparatively quiet and secluded. Broad, sandy beaches here provide ideal nesting habitat for the black sea turtle. The rugged, vast expanse of Mexico’s Pacific coastline is the setting for one of the most inspirational sea turtle conservation success stories of all time.

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Building Bycatch Solutions from the Ground Up for the East Pacific Leatherback

The East Pacific population of the leatherback is one of the world’s most threatened marine turtle regional management units, due in large part to bycatch of leatherbacks in foraging grounds. There may now be fewer than 1,000 adult females in this population owing to a combination of fisheries bycatch, egg harvesting, and other threats. As such, an expert working group was assembled to develop a 10-year regional action plan to halt and reverse the decline of the East Pacific leatherback turtle.

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