Posts tagged Pollution and Pathogens
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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Sea Turtles of the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea is a bountiful yet dangerous place for sea turtles. Characterized by beautiful natural and cultural heritage sites and by rich biodiversity, the Mediterranean is also a troubled and overexploited sea, where sea turtles have a hard time coping with high fishing pressure, gas and oil development, major cross-continental maritime traffic, beachfront and other habitat impacts, and widespread marine pollution.

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Addressing the Plastic Pollution Challenge in Uruguay

In Uruguay, the threat of plastic pollution looms large in an area considered to be an important foraging and developmental habitat for sea turtles in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. In recent years, NGO Karumbé has focused in on the issue of plastic pollution through strong community engagement programs designed to embed conservation ethics in the Uruguayan people.

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Scientific Tourism, Fibropapillomatosis, and Learning to Stay Out of Nature's Way

It is seven o’clock in the morning, and we are on an old wooden pier in a mangrove swamp on the south coast of Bahia, Brazil. After a night spent on a bus, our group boards two traditional fishing boats heading to Coroa Vermelha Island, a coral reef 13 kilometers offshore. Students of veterinary medicine and biology, journalists, an economist, an architect, a sales representative, and a retiree. Our shared goal is to capture juvenile green turtles, looking for signs of an all-too-common disease.

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Sea Turtles of the French Territories

Geopolitics of the past have left France with many territories that are spread across the globe, and the coincidental overlap of so many sea turtle regional management units is a fortunate consequence that allows France to play a disproportionately important role in sea turtle conservation. In this article, members of the French Marine Turtle Group offer an overview of the distribution and movement of turtles in French waters, as well as the threats facing turtles in French territories around the world. 

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Green Turtles as Silent Sentinels of Pollution in the Great Barrier Reef

Understanding the impact of chemical contaminants on turtles can inform turtle conservation and also can guide efforts to protect and conserve larger ecosystems. Partners in WWF-Australia’s Rivers to Reef to Turtles project have spent the past four years studying the chemical profile and health impacts of pollutants found in green turtles in the hope of improving the way turtles and their habitats are monitored and conserved.

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The Sea Turtles of Africa

Africa’s sea turtles were once among the least studied in the world, and mounting threats to their survival, such as fishing, poaching, coastal development, and pollution, still require further study and urgent attention. Today, a growing number of institutions and individuals are shedding new light on sea turtle science, and they are helping find solutions to the continent’s sea turtle and ocean conservation challenges.

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A Dam Disaster in Brazil and Its Impacts on Distant Sea Turtle Beaches

The recent collapse of a tailings dam at a Samarco ore mine in the municipality of Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is now being called the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history. In the state of Espírito Santo at the mouth of the Rio Doce, pollutants ultimately despoiled globally important leatherback and loggerhead nesting beaches.

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The 11 Most Threatened Sea Turtle Populations

The following list was published in The State of the World's Sea Turtles Report Vol. 7 in 2012 and identifies the 11 most threatened sea turtle populations in the world. This analysis was made possible by the priority-setting efforts of the Burning Issues (BI) Working Group of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group, which created a framework for delineating sea turtle populations globally (RMU's) and then evaluated, compared, and organized sea turtle RMU's within the context of a conservation "priorities portfolio".

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