Red tide suspected in manatee deaths

Red Tide may be responsible for the deaths of more than 100 mantees this year in Florida.
©Keith Ramos, US Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

The number of manatee deaths in Florida so far this year has exceeded last year’s total deaths, and officials say Red Tide is partly to blame. Biologists say the algal bloom was verified as the cause of death for 29 manatees and is suspected of killing another 74. “We find that the primary route is through ingestion of seagrass that has the toxins on it,” Dr. Martine de Wit of the state’s marine mammal pathology laboratory told the Tampa Bay Times. So far, 554 manatee deaths have been tallied, outnumbering last year’s total of 538.

Read the story in the Tampa Bay Times.