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South Padre Island, TX, United States

Putman N.F.,Oregon State University | Mansfield K.L.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | He R.,North Carolina State University | Shaver D.J.,Padre Island National Seashore
Biology Letters | Year: 2013

IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement), Rue Jean Monnet, BP 171, 34203 Séte, France The inaccessibility of open ocean habitat and the cryptic nature of small animals are fundamental problems when assessing the distribution of oceanic-stage sea turtles and other marine animals sharing similar lifehistory traits. Most methods that estimate patterns of abundance cannot be applied in situations that are extremely data limited. Here, we use a movement ecology framework to generate the first predicted distributions for the oceanic stage of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). Our simulations of particle dispersal within ocean circulation models reveal substantial annual variation in distribution and survival among simulated cohorts. Such techniques can help prioritize areas for conservation, and supply inputs for more realistic demographic models attempting to characterize population trends. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source

Castle K.T.,National Park Service | Flewelling L.J.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission | John II B.,National Park Service | Kramer A.,National Park Service | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2013

In October 2009, during a Karenia brevis red tide along the Texas coast, millions of dead fish washed ashore along the 113-km length of Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS). Between November 2009 and January 2010, at least 12 coyotes (Canis latrans) and three domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) died or were euthanized at PAIS or local veterinary clinics because of illness suspected to be related to the red tide. Another red tide event occurred during autumn 2011 and, although fewer dead fish were observed relative to the 2009 event, coyotes again were affected. Staff at PAIS submitted carcasses of four coyotes and one domestic dog from November 2009 to February 2010 and six coyotes from October to November 2011 for necropsy and ancillary testing. High levels of brevetoxins (PbTxs) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in seven of the coyotes and the dog, with concentrations up to 634 ng PbTx-3 eq/g in stomach contents, 545 ng PbTx-3 eq/g in liver, 195 ng PbTx-3 eq/g in kidney, and 106 ng PbTx-3 eq/mL in urine samples. Based on red tide presence, clinical signs, and postmortem findings, brevetoxicosis caused by presumptive ingestion of toxic dead fish was the likely cause of canid deaths at PAIS. These findings represent the first confirmed report of terrestrial mammalian wildlife mortalities related to a K. brevis bloom. The implications for red tide impacts on terrestrial wildlife populations are a potentially significant but relatively undocumented phenomenon. © Wildlife Disease Association 2013. Source

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