Peru probes mystery pelican deaths

May 1, 2012
File photo shows a young Peruvian Booby on Macabi island in Peru
File photo shows a young Peruvian Booby on Macabi island in Peru. A team of ornithologists on Monday were investigating the mysterious death of nearly 600 sea birds found on the beaches of northern Peru, government officials said.

A team of ornithologists were investigating the mysterious death of nearly 600 sea birds found on the beaches of northern Peru, government officials said.

The investigation follows a probe into the deaths of more than 850 dolphins that have washed ashore since January along the same 170-kilometer (100-mile) stretch of coastline in the northern departments of Piura and Lambayeque.

Peru's Oceanic Institute (IMARPE) said that, as of Sunday, they had found 538 dead and 54 dead Peruvian Boobies. They also found the carcasses of five that washed ashore and the decomposed remains of a turtle.

The Ministry of Production, in charge of fisheries, said in a statement that early results suggest that the birds died on the beach, and did not wash ashore dead.

Deputy Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria said on April 19 that the dolphins were likely killed by a highly infectious virus known as morbillivirus.

Experts however are awaiting test results to know whether they can rule out or other factors.

"It's not the first time this has happened. There have been other instances in Peru, Mexico and the United States," Quijandria added.

Ninety-five percent of the deaths affected bottle-nosed dolphins, officials said.

Explore further: Dolphin population at risk in Britain

Related Stories

Dolphin population at risk in Britain

May 16, 2007

A report from the Wildlife Trusts and an animal charity has found that commercial fishing in Britain is placing the regional dolphin population at risk.

Hundreds of dead penguins wash up on Brazil shores

July 20, 2010

Hundreds of dead penguins and other sea animals have washed up on Sao Paulo state's shores and scientists are investigating the causes, environment officials told Folha Online news agency.

Scientists scrutinize rise in baby dolphin deaths

February 26, 2011

Scientists are trying to figure out what killed 53 bottlenose dolphins - many of them babies - so far this year in the Gulf of Mexico, as five more of their carcasses washed up Thursday in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Recommended for you

Plastic in 99 percent of seabirds by 2050

August 31, 2015

Researchers from CSIRO and Imperial College London have assessed how widespread the threat of plastic is for the world's seabirds, including albatrosses, shearwaters and penguins, and found the majority of seabird species ...

Researchers unveil DNA-guided 3-D printing of human tissue

August 31, 2015

A UCSF-led team has developed a technique to build tiny models of human tissues, called organoids, more precisely than ever before using a process that turns human cells into a biological equivalent of LEGO bricks. These ...

Study shows female frogs susceptible to 'decoy effect'

August 28, 2015

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers has found that female túngaras, frogs that live in parts of Mexico and Central and South America, appear to be susceptible to the "decoy effect." In their paper published in the journal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.