Archive for toxic algae blooms

Tattoo of the Day

Posted in Tattoo of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by Caroline Thompson


Tattoo by Phil Garcia.


Known for their loud barks, playful nature, and intelligence, California sea lions are a prolific species that can be found from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.   They are listed as being of ‘least concern’ on the IUCN, can often be found resting together at favored haul-out sites.  Weather fluctuations during El Nino have produced harmful algae blooms.  These toxic blooms result in a build up of domoic acid, which causes sea lions (and other animals, even humans) to have seizures, tremors, head waving, unresponsiveness, and characteristic intermittent scratching behavior.  First reported in 1998, hundreds of these animals are affected annually by the deadly bloom.  Domoic acid poisoning is the single most important toxic cause of illness and mortality in sea lions.  The Galapagos sea lion, a close relative to the California sea lion, is worse off in terms of conservation status.  Listed as ‘endangered’, the species has faced large die-offs during El Nino years, and disease outbreaks have occurred with the introduction of domestic dogs to the islands of San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela.


Remember: Tattoos are forever… and so is extinction.  To see all of the FANTASTIC art featured on Bush Warriors Tattoo of the Day, and to learn more about this initiative, please click here.  You can also share photos of your own wildlife tattoos and enjoy others’ at our Facebook group, Bush Warriors Inked Nation for Conservation.

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