The discovery of 16 more pink dolphin carcasses in Brazil’s Amazon River is causing alarm among animal experts. This alarming trend of dolphin deaths is not isolated but is part of a larger, escalating impact of Climate change on wildlife across the globe.
In the Coari region of Brazil, 16 more pink dolphin carcasses were recently found, raising the total count to at least 178.
Experts warn that this number is expected to rise, as the exact cause of these deaths is still under investigation. Sea Shepherd Brazil, a prominent marine Conservation organization, has voiced concerns that there could be more unmonitored dolphin deaths in other parts of the country.
The dire situation faced by these pink dolphins has been linked to dramatic changes in the Amazon River‘s water levels. Brazil experienced an unprecedented period of hot weather and the longest drought in the river’s history.
These conditions caused the water levels to drop to their lowest point since 1902. While the definitive cause of these deaths is still being determined, Sea Shepherd has raised the possibility that these extreme weather conditions are a significant contributing factor.
Images of the pink dolphin carcasses discovered in the Amazon River have been shared on social media, eliciting heartbreak and outrage. Many people expressed their sorrow and frustration over the human actions that have contributed to this environmental catastrophe. The loss of these majestic creatures is a poignant reminder of the destructive consequences of Climate change.
The plight of the pink dolphins is just one example of the escalating impact of climate change on wildlife worldwide. In Botswana, a mass die-off of 350 elephants in 2020 was attributed to the ingestion of bacteria, which was able to overcome the animals’ weakened immune defenses due to drought and food shortages. Australia has witnessed the first extinction directly linked to Climate change, and other endemic species like koalas face growing pressure from the changing climate.
The drought in the Amazon isn’t just affecting its wildlife; it’s also taking a heavy toll on local communities. Close to half a million people have reportedly been impacted by the drought, which is affecting areas around the world’s largest surviving rainforest. Boats are stranded, supplies are dwindling, and villagers are forced to transport water over unprecedented distances from the receding river.
While these challenging conditions have brought devastation, they have also unveiled unexpected insights. The extreme drought led to the exposure of ancient petroglyphs along the Negro River, a tributary of the Amazon. These prehistoric engravings, estimated to be 1,000 to 2,000 years old, provide a glimpse into the rich history of human presence in the Amazon region.
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This article by Trinity Sparke was first published by One Green Planet on 1 November 2023. Image Credit :Anirut Krisanakul/Shutterstock.