Red tide blamed in Florida dolphin strandings

A bottlenose dolphin comes to the surface of the ocean. ©Tambako the Jaguar

Officials believe red tide is likely behind the death of more than 22 bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates) that washed up dead on Southwest Florida beaches last month. Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they believe brevetoxin from red tide is causing the deaths of an abnormally high number of dolphins. “Dolphins can die from either inhalation of the toxin or eating prey that have been exposed to the red tide,” Blair Mase, a marine mammal stranding coordinator for NOAA, told the Naples Daily News.

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