The drama takes place on Lago de Tefé. Northern Brazil has been suffering from severe drought for some time. The area received only a third of the usual amount of rain in September. As a result, water levels in Amazon rivers dropped by several metres. At the same time, the water temperature rises dramatically. With dire consequences for animals.
Pictures of dolphins washing up come from the area. It’s about the beloved and endangered Amazon pink dolphin called potos.
“Last month in Tevye was like a science fiction climate scenario,” Daniel Tregido told The New York Times. British newspaper The Guardian. The British researcher lives in the area. “One of the great things about living in the heart of the Amazon is that you often see pink dolphins. I regularly see them coming out of the water when I go to the market. The thought of one of them dying is sad. But all those dolphin corpses to see and knowing that over a hundred dead are Tragedy”.
The Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, a Brazilian government organisation, describes it as an “ecological emergency”. Teams of veterinarians and officials are sent to the area to investigate the deaths and rescue stranded animals if possible.
“An environmental disaster here at Lake Teifi,” researcher Ian Fleischmann wrote on X, previously Twitter. He works at the Mamirawa Institute, a government organization focused on sustainable development. According to Fleishman, bacteria or disease and human contamination of water are also being examined as possible causes of death.
But according to him, the low water level and persistent heat are already playing a major role. This causes less oxygen in the water and can be fatal to animals as well. “We measured the water temperature at over 39 degrees. That’s very hot, awful,” Fleishman said. He stated that the water temperature had now dropped somewhat, but dead animals were still washing up.
The fear is that due to global warming, the most vulnerable animal species will suffer. Here are more photos of the Amazon’s massive fish kill.
Persistent drought is causing problems in more places in the Amazon. But the area near Lake Teifi is one of the worst affected areas. About 70 thousand residents live there. Drought and falling water levels also have serious consequences for them. All transportation here is by boat. Due to the drop in water levels, it is now very difficult to bring food and drinks to the villages.
Water shortages and drought are expected to worsen in October. Local authorities have requested the national government for humanitarian assistance.
Things haven’t been going well for the pink river dolphin in the Amazon for some time. Also by hunters trying to catch animals. See our 2019 report here.
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