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Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Alaska Seabirds, September 2018

Detailed Description

In response to recent seabird die-off events in Alaska, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Alaska Science Center tested bird tissues for toxins associated with harmful algal blooms and have released their preliminary findings in a new handout, "Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Alaska Seabirds, September 2018." This handout was prepared to provide rapid information to the public about test results. Samples collected in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local communities during 2015-2017 were tested. Saxitoxin was relatively common in samples from die-off birds as well as reference samples from apparently healthy birds, but domoic acid was detected only rarely. The USGS is currently investigating the impacts of exposure to saxitoxin on birds. Please contact Sarah Schoen (USGS, 907-786-7467, or Caroline Van Hemert (USGS, 907-786-7167, for more information. To report observations of sick or dead birds, contact the USFWS at 1-866-527-3358 or by email at


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