Red tides occur annually in the Gulf of Mexico. These events are caused by a harmful algal species that releases potent neurotoxins, known as brevetoxins, into the surrounding water. Exposure to brevetoxins causes acute respiratory and neurological symptoms in affected animals that can lead to mass strandings and deaths of many species of marine animals, including sea turtles. A newly devised therapy called intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) has shown promise in reducing brevetoxin concentrations and symptoms in freshwater turtles. Researchers will determine the effectiveness of ILE in stranded loggerhead, green and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles due to red tide events. Identifying a brevetoxin treatment will help more turtles recover from toxic red tide exposure and improve release rates for endangered turtles back into the wild.
Grant amount awarded
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Perrault, Justin R. Perrault, PhD