Manatees death outbreak again takes up full swing in Indian River

Manatees death outbreak again takes up full swing in Indian River

Since the end of May, carcasses of eight manatees have been found. State wildlife officials said that the manatees’ deaths owing to pollution have again started in the Indian River Lagoon of Brevard County that has been facing severe problem of algae.

The officials have affirmed that the found dead bodies bear sign of trauma that has been responsible for the deaths of more than 150 marine animals in the last four years. Martine de Wit, lead veterinarian at the Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said that they have been trying to know the exact reason behind the death cause.

But for now the hypothesis say that it is due to change of vegetation in which manatees have been indulging, it is making them weaker to the problems in their guts. The problem started appearing July 2012 when the Indian River, which was already facing pollution problem, suffered an outbreak of microscopic algae.

Due to the algae problem, the water turned brown or green and sea grass on which manatees used to gorge on was nowhere to be seen. As per de Wit, 166 manatees have been found to be having little or no sea grass in their stomachs. Their digestive systems were filled with seaweed, a large type of algae.

Manatees died so immediately that they drowned, mentioned de Wit, who said that the exact reason of death is yet to be known. State agencies and local conservation groups have affirmed that in order to control the algae problem in the Indian River, a lot of efforts would required and majorly targeted on pollution.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering to reclassify manatees from being endangered to threatened. But experts said that the FDA should reconsider the plans.


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