Peru says 5,000 birds, nearly 900 dolphins dead

A dying pelican crawls away from the surf to die on the beach of Paita
A dying pelican crawls away from the surf to die on the beach of Paita, in Tumbes, 1,100 kilometers north of Lima and close to the border with Ecuador on May 2. The Peruvian government said Wednesday that 5,000 birds, mostly pelicans, and nearly 900 dolphins have died off the country's northern coast, possibly due to rising temperatures in Pacific waters.

The Peruvian government said Wednesday that 5,000 birds, mostly pelicans, and nearly 900 dolphins have died off the country's northern coast, possibly due to rising temperatures in Pacific waters.

The country's northern beaches were earlier this week declared off-limits as scientists scrambled to pin down what was causing such a massive toll, with non-government organizations blaming work.

But Peru's deputy environment minister Gabriel Quijandria, disputed this and said , which disturbs species' food supplies, was a possible cause.

He said that although tests conducted on 877 dolphins found dead on the coast had not been completed, contamination from or the presence of bacterial infections was not responsible.

It is probable that the phenomenon "will extend to other coastal areas," Quijandria said, noting that there could be a resulting increase in the numbers of birds and other sea life killed.

The South American nation's health ministry declared an alert at the weekend, urging the public to stay away from the beaches around Lima and on the northern coast until the cause of death of marine life is known.

One non-government conservation organization, known as ORCA, has blamed the dolphin deaths on oil exploration activities in the area, which it claims produces noises which are having an acoustic impact on the mammals.

A representative from the group, Carlos Yaipen, said Wednesday it had tested 30 dead specimens and found broken ears and damaged organs consistent with the victims suffering "the bends," also known as .

Weather expert Abraham Levy told AFP on Tuesday that the warming of the Pacific waters due to could be to blame.


Explore further

Alarm as Peru pelican and dolphin deaths rise

(c) 2012 AFP

Citation: Peru says 5,000 birds, nearly 900 dolphins dead (2012, May 9) retrieved 25 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-peru-birds-dolphins-dead.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

May 09, 2012
I doubt rising temperatures in Pacific waters cause them death

May 10, 2012
I doubt rising temperatures in Pacific waters cause them death

Unsubstantiated statements make you look so smart!

Yes, continue on, blame it on GW.
Blame anything aberrant in nature on GW.

It is the easiest path to follow.

It's funny, 'cause they didn't even mention global warming. You people are so reactionary. I hope you don't pee yourself when somebody honks a car horn.

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