Dolphins are Mysteriously Dying Around the World
Dolphins are mysteriously dying around the world in Cape Cod, The Gulf of Mexico & Brazill. Since January, dead dolphins have washed ashore in Peru, the death toll reaching a staggering 877. Scientists are still trying to explain the bizarre deaths, and their best prediction at the moment is that its due to a virus outbreak or acoustic trauma.
Several mass deaths of dolphins have occurred over the past few years and while experts are worried about the die-off they say we are not witnessing a global population crash.
But what is behind the resent mass stranding and deaths is complicated and, inevitably, involves humans.
For example, the bottlenose in Gulf of Mexico started in early 2010, even before BP’s massive oil spill in April 2010. Disease was linked to some of the hundreds of Gulf dolphin deaths, but not all of them. The ultimate cause remains mysterious.
Nonetheless, the past two years have been rough for several species of dolphins, but not all of the nearly 40 species of dolphins are in hot water.
“There is not a large scale die-off of dolphins across the globe or throughout ocean basins,” said Connie Barclay, spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
“What we do see are localized areas where stranding and deaths have increased,” Barcaly said. “Scientists have seen unusually high rates of illness and death in specific populations of bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, long-beaked common dolphins along the beaches of Peru and short-beaked common dolphins along the shores of Cape Cod.”
One population that suffered a serious dolphin disaster swam in the Pacific off the coast of Peru. Discovery News recently reported on the thousands of dolphin corpses washing up on the tropical beaches.
“The Peru mass stranding is the largest ever reported in the [Western Hemisphere] and the biggest since the mass stranding in Europe during the ’90s,” Carlos Yaipen-Llanos, president and science director for Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals (ORCA).
The causes of the dolphin strandings and deaths seem to be varied as well. Unlike the fungus decimating multiple North American bat species, no single reason has been found for the dolphins’ dilemma.