Science

Everglades Dolphins Poisoned By Mercury Contamination

By Rodney Rafols , Nov 29, 2016 10:20 PM EST
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Many marine mammals are affected by the environment. As man continues with development, it is inevitable that those activities would affect others in many ways. One of those affected are the Everglades dolphins. Everglades dolphins have been found being poisoned by mercury contamination.

The bottlenose dolphins in the Everglades are showing signs of mercury poisoning. This has been revealed by a study made by FIU scientists who have been examining them. The dolphins come from the lower Florida Keys, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.

The dolphins have been found to have high mercury concentration on their skin and blubber. To sources of mercury are said to be found both naturally and from man-made sources. Mercury is toxic, and can hinder the immune system and reproduction of dolphins. This makes them vulnerable to many diseases.

One of the natural sources of mercury is mangroves, according to FIU News. Mangroves have leaves that drop into the water. Once those leaves come into contact with bacteria, it is converted into a very toxic form of mercury. Man-made contaminants would include pesticides.

Mercury has been found throughout the southern tip of Florida. However, concentration has been high in the Everglades, Phys Org reports. This has alarmed environmentalists and scientists. Other species would be examined as well for mercury contamination because of this.

"Understanding the impact of pollutants on marine ecosystems, including from natural sources, is critical for conservation and management," declared FIU marine scientist and study co-author Jeremy Kiszka. Other species that would be looked into are sharks, alligators and fishes. They will try to find out the extent of mercury poisoning in the Everglades.

As progress continues, many marine creatures are being affected. Many waste products are being thrown into seas, lakes and other bodies of water yearly. Much of those products are harmful to marine life. Just recently Greenpeace has proposed to have microbeads banned in the UK. This shows that the marine ecosystem needs to be protected as much as other ecosystems.

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