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Soundings Archive

Bacterial Infection Cause of Death In Some Stranded Dolphins
As many as 580 dolphins stranded in the Gulf of Mexico beginning in February 2010. NMFS is investigating the causes for the strandings, and any possible connection to the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Pathology experts contracted by NOAA have identified the bacteria Brucella in five bottlenose dolphins that died in the northern Gulf of Mexico. According to a NMFS' spokesperson:

    "We believe these five dolphins died from brucellosis. Die-offs from bacterial infections could be occurring because the bacterium has become more lethal, but they could also be occurring, or be more severe, because the dolphins are more susceptible to infection. Severe environmental stress, including from exposure to oil, could have reduced the animals' ability to fight infection…."
  • Click here to read NMFS' Press release on infection
  • Click here to read updates about NMFS's investigation into the cause of the strandings
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