ALGAE LINKED TO ALLIGATOR DEATHS: possibly turtle tumors

Ursula Keuper-Bennett howzit at
Fri Oct 23 08:11:09 EDT 1998

Today Allen Salzberg shared the following AP article with CTURTLE and
the CITES-L mailing lists.  

>ALGAE LINKED TO ALLIGATOR DEATHS:  The AP reported 10/19 recent
>surges in the growth of algae and associated toxins may be 
>causing a wave of alligator deaths in Florida.  Many species of 
>blue-green algae release chemicals toxic to the nervous system 
>and liver of animals.  Some scientists believe algae may also be
>linked to non-cancerous tumors being found on sea turtles.  The
>increase in algae has worsened in the past year and is caused by
>runoff of fertilizers, sewage, and other nutrients into the water

This message is being CC'd to three other lists -- ALGAE-L,
PHYCOTOXINS and CORAL-L for their information and (hopefully) input. 
The article's relevance to the first two lists is obvious.  

Why CORAL-L?  I figure the AP article is also of importance to coral
researchers because even though this event appears to be a fresh
water phenomena, nutrified waters from Florida's lakes and rivers
eventually end up in the ocean and may ultimately affect corals.

I also have some questions for list experts who may be working on
this very problem.

Number one question.  Is this article accurate?

Also where in the state of Florida are these "wave" of deaths

Presently I'm assuming the blue-green algae is a freshwater species
reacting to increased nutrients.  Anyone know if any coastal (marine)
areas receiving these "fresh" waters are presently showing signs that
"the increase in algae has worsened" there also?

And anyone know what species of blue-green algae is the villain here?

"wave of alligator deaths" implies sudden mortality (more like that
manatee event a couple years back) than something chronic like
fibropapilloma (FP).  Am I inferring this correctly?

Next, if these worsening conditions are expected over the long term,
it would be interesting to determine the existing prevalence of FP
around these nutrients-receiving coastal areas.  That way there'd be
some baseline data to compare the FP stats two-three years from now.

(I know.  That takes money.)

Last, for coral researchers, an article in yesterday's CNN website:

Coral reefs: Are we doing too little too late? 


(more bad news)

Best wishes

              ^               Ursula Keuper-Bennett
             0 0              Email: howzit at
    /V^\            /^V\             
  /V   Malama na honu   V\   
/                        \
    French Frigate Shoals
Green sea turtles nest there    
  Twenty-fifth Anniversary
                    --Patrick H. (age 12)                    
          \       /    cinquaine poetry
          /  \ /  \              
         /__| V |__\    
         Turtle Trax

More information about the Coral-list-old mailing list