African Elephant dying due to Cyanobacteria

  • IASbaba
  • September 29, 2020
  • 0
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African Elephant dying due to Cyanobacteria

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Environment; Biodiversity

In news

  • Recently, neuro-toxins in water produced by cyanobacteria killed more than 300 African elephants in the Okavango delta region, Botswana, South Africa.

Important value additions 


  • They are blue-green algae.
  • They are found naturally in soils and all types of water.
  • These organisms use sunlight to make their own food.
  • In warm, nutrient-rich (high in phosphorus and nitrogen) environments, cyanobacteria can multiply quickly.
  • Toxic blue-green algae are occurring more frequently as climate change drives up global temperatures.

The African elephant

  • It is the largest animal walking the Earth.
  • Their herds wander through 37 countries in Africa.
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable 
  • African elephants in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe: CITES Appendix II


  • It is a landlocked country of southern Africa.
  • The semi-arid Kalahari Desert covers about 70% of Botswana’s surface.
  • It is home to mostly different types of acacia trees; animals like lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, antelopes, meerkats, as well as many birds species and reptiles.
  • It is also home to the tribes like- San people (Bushmen), Tswana, Kgalakgadi, and Herero people.
  • Okavango Delta: It is one of the world’s largest inland deltas.

Do you know?

  • Neuro-toxins are substances that damage, destroy, or impair the functioning of neural tissue.
  • An algal bloom is a rapid increase in the population of algae or cyanobacteria in an aquatic system.

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