In the center of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, an appalling tragedy has been playing out over the past week. Over a hundred dolphins have been discovered dead in the waters, a terrible result of the unrelenting rise in water temperatures. According to specialists who are closely following the situation, this region, which is already struggling with a severe drought, faces the awful potential of witnessing even more of these gorgeous creatures perish if the hot temperatures continue.
Two more dead dolphins were found close to Tefe Lake, according to the Mamiraua Institute, a renowned scientific institution run by Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation. The value of this lake to the local fish and mammal population cannot be overstated. The disturbing sight of vultures dining on the carcasses of these dolphins, who were left stranded on the lake’s banks, is captured in a heartbreaking video that the institute published. Tragically, many of fish have also perished, as reported by local media, and the destruction goes beyond these clever sea mammals.
Experts generally agree that the rising water temperatures are the fundamental cause of this catastrophe. Since the previous week, temperatures in the Tefe Lake region had risen to previously unheard-of heights, hitting a scorching 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit). Teams of veterinarians and experts in aquatic mammals were deployed by the Brazilian government’s Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, which is in charge of managing conservation zones, after realizing the gravity of the problem to look into these upsetting fatalities.
A dedicated researcher from the Mamiraua Institute named Miriam Marmontel gave a somber evaluation of the circumstance. She claimed that there had been about 1,400 river dolphins living in Tefe Lake. However, over 120 of these gorgeous animals have tragically perished in the area in the past week, perhaps representing a dismal 5–10% of the population.
In a region severely affected by dry rivers, where poor riverside families have suffered hardship and had their boats become trapped in the desert sands, workers meticulously rescue the dead remains of dolphins. Governor Wilson Lima of Amazonas issued the emergency declaration last Friday in response to this severe situation.
Tefe, a city with 60,000 inhabitants, is in a particularly bad situation. The mayor of Tefe, Nicson Marreira, bemoaned his government’s inability to directly provide basic necessities to remote towns due to the drying up of river waters. In the heart of the Amazon, a situation is quickly turning into a humanitarian crisis.
The Mamirauá Institute’s geospatial coordinator, Ayan Fleischmann, stressed the drought’s severe effects on the riverbank communities in the Amazon region. Many of these settlements, he noted, are progressively becoming isolated, cut off from a dependable source of clean water, and without access to the river, which has historically been their main means of mobility.
Fleischmann emphasized the water temperature’s frightening increase, which went from 32 degrees Celsius (89 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday to about 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) by Sunday. High temperatures are the main suspect in this chilling aquatic mystery, while studies into the exact reason of the dolphin fatalities are still ongoing.