Friday, 11 May 2012

Heat wave blamed for killing 4,450 pelicans on Peru's beaches... as mystery still surrounds deaths of 900 dolphins

Thousands of pelicans that perished on Peru's northern beaches died because of a heat wave, scientists have claimed.

Investigators looking into the deaths of 4,450 of the birds say hotter than usual ocean temperatures have driven anchovies deeper into the sea, beyond the reach of many young.

But scientists studying the deaths of dolphins and porpoises from early February to mid-April say that particular phenomenon still remains a mystery.

Their inability to discover what had happened was due in part, they said, to the government's slowness in investigating.
Authorities were so late in gathering tissues from the mammals that crucial clues were likely to have been lost, said dolphin death probe scientist Armando Hung, head of the molecular biology lab at Cayetano Heredia University. 

At the same time, local officials have been so slow in removing carcasses that the Health Ministry urged the public last weekend to stay away from beaches from Lima, the coastal capital, northward, though it did not identify any specific health issue.

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