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Experts are baffled after an endangered sawfish was discovered in Florida “whirling and spinning” to death.

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Mass deaths are occurring as a result of an odd trend in which endangered smalltooth sawfish are unexplainably hurling themselves into South Florida beaches. Scientists are moving quickly after discovering deceased specimens of these uncommon animals in the Lower Florida Keys.

Following its designation of the issue as a “emergency response,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has undertaken unprecedented research into the occurrence.

It’s crucial to remember that saving stranded animals is not always possible with active rescue and rehabilitation. Nevertheless, it can still provide us with vital information to understand the type of distress,” NOAA representatives said.

Since 2003, smalltooth sawfish, which are distinguished by their elongated snouts laced with teeth, have been classified as endangered. The Keys and southwest Florida are home to the majority of their populations, where declining habitats have raised conservation concerns.

The concerning conduct was initially noted by state wildlife officials in January, when they reported a “unusual mortality event.” Due to the sawfish’s propensity to sink after dying, the actual death toll may be higher than the 28 verified deaths, out of at least 109 sawfish affected.

“We suspect that total mortalities are greater, since sawfish are negatively buoyant and thus unlikely to float after death,” stated researchers.

Numerous necropsies have been conducted, but the sawfish fatalities’ precise cause is still unknown. Contaminants, oxygen levels, bacterial diseases, and pathogens have all been ruled out as potential causes. Furthermore, although there has been a substantial influence on Florida’s marine ecosystems, the link to heatwaves caused by climate change is yet unclear.

Investigating the root cause of this concerning mortality event is a top priority for marine specialists. As part of the ongoing inquiry, efforts are being made to rescue and rehabilitate the impacted sawfish in quarantined facilities.

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