Some Cyanobacteria Are Deadly

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cyanobacteria free Wiki credit with link In: Some Cyanobacteria Are Deadly | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Cyanobacteria. Photo Wikipedia.

Florida may have more to worry about than just slapping Band Aids on the blue-green algae problem, as we see here that some cyanobacteria may be elephant killers.  The article does not say and it may not be known yet which toxic species were in the African water pools.  There are many different kinds of cyanobacteria, but we know some in Florida are toxic.

Approximately 20 cyanobacteria species in Florida’s waters are capable of producing toxins, and we know that some may be harmful to humans, but there is much more to be learned.   And the more we learn the worse it gets.

But what we do know is that cyanobacteria is a growing problem in Florida and that it inhabits the Santa Fe River, in part and mostly because too much fertilizer is being dumped on the ground in the watershed.

And way too much pumping out of our declining aquifer is slowing down the flow and helping the algae grow.

Read the complete article here in BBC News.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
[email protected]
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum

Botswana: Mystery elephant deaths caused by cyanobacteria

Toxins made by microscopic algae in water caused the previously unexplained deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana, wildlife officials say.
Botswana is home to a third of Africa’s declining elephant population.
The alarm was raised when elephant carcasses were spotted in the country’s Okavango Delta between May and June.
Officials say a total of 330 elephants are now known to have died from ingesting cyanobacteria. Poaching has been ruled out as a cause of death.
Cyanobacteria are toxic bacteria which can occur naturally in standing water and sometimes grow into large blooms known as blue-green algae.
Scientists warn that climate change may be making these incidents – known as toxic blooms – more likely, because they favour warm water.
Warning: Some people may find an image below upsetting
The findings follow months of tests in specialist laboratories in South Africa, Canada, Zimbabwe and the US.
Many of the dead elephants were found near watering holes, but until now the wildlife authorities had doubted that the bacteria were to blame because the blooms appear on the edges of ponds and elephants tend to drink from the middle.
“Our latest tests have detected cyanobacterial neurotoxins to be the cause of deaths. These are bacteria found in water,” the Department of Wildlife and National Parks’ Principal Veterinary Officer Mmadi Reuben told a press conference on Monday.
The deaths “stopped towards the end of June 2020, coinciding with the drying of [water] pans”, AFP quotes him as saying.
Reports in June noted that tusks had not been removed, meaning poaching was not seen as a likely explanation.
Anthrax poisoning has also been ruled out, according to senior wildlife department official Cyril Taolo.
But questions still remain about the deaths, Mr Reuben told reporters.
“We have many questions still to be answered such as why the elephants only and why that area only. We have a number of hypotheses we are investigating….”

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