by Sreeja VN
April 22, 2012
Investigations are on into the deaths of hundreds of dolphins that
washed up on the northern coast of Peru.
Around 877 carcasses of dolphins and
porpoises were found on Peruvian beaches in two and half months.
Peruvian officials and environmentalists are trying to unravel the
mystery behind the phenomenon.
No concrete reasons have been figured out yet but the authorities
believe that it could possibly be a viral infection that may have
killed the dolphins in huge numbers.
While environmental groups in the
country blame the seismic oil exploration work carried out by
Energy Company for the dolphin deaths.
"The most probable hypothesis is the
possibility of an infection with a virus," he said.
"There are scientific articles about
the incidence of morbillivirus, a type of distemper, in
cetaceans in Peru, and that can be ruled out or proven next
week," told Deputy Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria to
BPZ, a Houston-based company had carried
out the oil exploration work between February 8 and April 8, off
Peruvian environmentalists have said
that the sound waves generated from the oil exploration work could
be the cause of the deaths. However, Quijandria said that so far
there is no proof to link dolphin deaths to seismic work, according
to the Associated Press report.
Most of the carcasses found were already decomposed, making it
difficult to study the cause of their deaths. However, authorities
have also ruled out the possibility of deaths due to lack of food or
poisoning, CNN reported quoting
Andina News Agency
(more on "Animal's Mass Extinctions"
in northern Peru).
Mass dolphin deaths have been reported globally in recent years,
raising concerns about the survival of the species.