Peru: Climate Change Behind Dead Animals?

Dead dolphins, birds could have been affected by warming waters
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2012 11:12 AM CDT
Peru: Climate Change Behind Dead Animals?
A dead cormorant is found on the beach of Paita, in Tumbes, 1,100 kilometers north of Lima and close to the border with Ecuador on May 2, 2012.   (Getty Images)

Peru may finally have an answer for the 5,000 birds and nearly 900 dolphins that have died on its northern coast: climate change. As waters warm, food supply is disrupted, says the country’s deputy environment minister. A weather expert also confirms warmer waters due to El Niño could be a factor. The minister also reiterated that so far, it appears neither contamination nor bacterial infections are to blame for the death of the dolphins.

The problem will likely “extend to other coastal areas,” he added. The public was warned to stay away from northern beaches until the mystery has been solved. At least one NGO believes oil exploration in the area is to blame, claiming it causes noises that can hurt dolphins. A rep says 30 of the dead mammals had broken ears and damaged organs, AFP reports. (More Peru stories.)

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