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Toxic Blue-Green Algae Kills More Than a Hundred Elk
A hunter stumbled upon a bizarre sight on a 75,000-acre ranch north of Las Vegas, N.M., on Aug. 27: the remains of more than 100 dead elk. Livestock deaths are not unusual, but so many animals dying off, and doing so in what seems to be under 24 hours, was puzzling to scientists

Officials with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish investigated the mysterious elk deaths and ruled out several possible causes for the elk deaths, including poachers, anthrax, lightning strikes, epizootic hemorrhagic disease (an often-fatal virus known to affect deer and other ruminants), botulism, poisonous plants, malicious poisoning and even some sort of industrial or agricultural accident.

Through science and further testing of elk tissue samples and water samples, it was determined that pond scum was the culprit. Or, more specifically, a neurotoxin produced by one type of blue-green algae that can develop in warm, standing water.

 
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On the Verge of Water Wars - China, India and Pakistan are just a few countries facing critical water issues in the 21st century. Of all the water on earth, 97 per cent is salt water and the remaining three per cent is fresh, with less than one per cent of the planet's drinkable water readily accessible for direct human uses. The areas where water scarcity is the biggest problem are some of the same places where political conflicts are common.


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