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Posts Tagged "toxins"

Extinction Countdown

25 Years after Exxon Valdez Spill, Sea Otters Recovered in Alaska’s Prince William Sound

sea otter

It took a quarter century, but the northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) living in Alaska’s Prince William Sound have finally recovered from the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The spill itself killed an estimated 40 percent of the 6,500 sea [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Banned Pesticide DDT Is Still Killing California Condors

california condor

Just one week after the California legislature voted to ban lead ammunition to protect California condors from the toxic substance, which they can consume via carcasses shot by hunters, new research shows that the critically endangered birds are also still at risk from another long-banned toxic substance: the pesticide DDT. The U.S. banned the use [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Toxicomania: Poisonous Invasive Plant Protects Australian Lizards from Poisonous Invasive Cane Toads

Blue-tongued skink

Australia has a long history of invasive species that have damaged the island nation’s ecology and driven several species into extinction. The most famous example, of course, is the cane toad (Rhinella marina), which was introduced by Australia in 1935 in an attempt to control sugar cane pests, but which instead proved devastating to many [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Do PCBs Still Threaten Humans? A Turtle Study Suggests They Might

Decades after polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)—once commonly used in pesticides, electrical transformers and coolants—were banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the toxic chemicals continue to linger in our country’s soil and water. A new study shows how exposure to these PCBs can weaken turtle bone and shell density and suggests they could also continue to [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Western Black Rhino Extinct and Other Updates from the Brink

western black rhino extinct

Just two weeks after the World Wildlife Fund declared the Vietnam Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) extinct comes the announcement of another rhino extinction, this time the western black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) of Africa. The declaration came last week from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as part of [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Algal Neurotoxins Found in Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals

Hawaiian monk seal

More than 30 years after 50 critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) died of suspected algal toxic poisoning, the presence of ciguatoxins in living seals has finally been confirmed through a new, noninvasive test. Ciguatoxins are produced by dinoflagellates, which live near coral and seaweed. The dinoflagellates are eaten by small fish, which are [...]

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