The crocodile population has crashed from 1,000 to 400 in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, and experts don’t know why. (Scientific American) One thing the dead crocs have in common is hardened fat deposits in their tails, lots of it, so much they’re unable to hunt. Researchers are finding similar hardening in the park’s fish, too.
Is the culprit something natural? Microorganisms (dinoflagellates or cyanobacteria) may be, for some reason, “releasing toxins similar to those that cause red tides in marine environments.”
Or is it something unnatural? Upstream from the park, there are “hundreds of coal mining operations… where crocodiles have disappeared almost completely.” There’s a dam, too, which may be slowing the flow of water in the crocs habitat enough for toxins to build up.
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