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Peru investigates the death of over 538 Pelican deaths

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Peru investigates the death of over 538 Pelican deaths

Post  Panda on Mon 30 Apr - 14:58



Peru investigates mystery pelican deathsBy Marilia Brocchetto, CNN
April 30, 2012 -- Updated 0916 GMT (1716 HKT)
The investigation follows an incident earlier in April when 877 dolphins washed up dead on the same stretch of coast.STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Hundreds of dead birds are found on shore, authorities say
It's not clear what killed them
The discovery of the dead birds comes weeks after hundreds of dead dolphins were found
The dolphin deaths remain a mystery
(CNN) -- Authorities in Peru are investigating the death of over 538 pelicans, along with other birds, on the northern coast of the country, the Peruvian ministry of production said Sunday.

The new environmental investigation comes on the heels of an incident earlier in April when 877 dolphins washed up dead on the same stretch of coast.

It was not immediately clear if the deaths were connected.

The birds appear to have died on the beach, and more tests are needed to determine the cause of death, the ministry of production said.

The Peruvian Sea Institute surveyed about 43 miles (70km) of beach coastline on Sunday and estimated that 592 birds were dead along the shore.



Mass dolphin die-off in Peru State-run TV Peru estimated that up to 1,200 birds had been found dead on the 100 miles (160km) of northern shoreline extending from Punta Negra in Piura to San JosÚ in the state of Lambayeque.

The deaths began less than two weeks ago, local fishermen say.

The investigation into the mystery surrounding the dolphins is still ongoing. Peruvian Deputy Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria told CNN the dolphins may have died from an outbreak of Morbillivirus or Brucella bacteria.

The Peruvian government has put together a panel from different ministries to analyze a report by the Peruvian Sea Institute (IMARPE). Officials have been able to conclude that the dolphins' deaths were not due to lack of food, interaction with fisheries, poisoning with pesticides, biotoxin poisoning or contamination by heavy metals.

"When you have something this large, my gut would tell me that there's something traumatic that happened," Sue Rocca, a marine biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, told CNN. She raised a number of possibilities as to what could have killed the animals, including acoustic trauma.

Preliminary reports ruled out that seismic sound waves created by oil exploration in that stretch of sea could have killed the birds, the environment ministry said.

They also expressed concern for the fishermen in the area and restated their commitment to protecting the country's marine ecosystem.



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Re: Peru investigates the death of over 538 Pelican deaths

Post  Panda on Sun 6 May - 7:36

6 May 2012 Last updated at 02:40 Share this pageEmail Print Share this page



The government of Peru has warned people to stay off beaches along large stretches of its coastline as it investigates the mysterious deaths of hundreds of dolphins and seabirds.

More than 1,000 birds, mostly pelicans, have washed up dead along the northern Pacific coast in recent weeks, after many dolphins died in the same area.

The health ministry stopped short of closing beaches.

But it advised people to stay away until the health alert was lifted.

The area affected includes popular beaches near the capital, Lima.

Peru's main holiday season is over, but the Pacific coast is still popular with surfers.

Thousands of Peruvians also depend on the sea for their livelihoods.

The health ministry alert warned local officials to wear gloves, masks and other protective equipment while handling dead birds and animals.

Preliminary investigations have found the dolphin deaths may have been caused by a virus.

A viral epidemic outbreak was linked to similar deaths of marine wildlife in Peru in the past, as well as in Mexico and the United States.

But there has been no explanation for the deaths of pelicans.

One theory is that a shift in ocean currents may have moved rich shoals of anchovy away from the coastline, leaving the birds without enough food.

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