More than 100 dolphins have been found dead in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in the past week as the region faces a severe drought and rising water temperatures, experts say.
The dolphins, which include river dolphins and Tucuxis, were discovered in the area around Tefe Lake, which is home to many aquatic species. According to the Mamiraua Institute, a research group funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the deaths could represent 5% to 10% of the dolphin population in the lake.
The main cause of the deaths is believed to be the high water temperature, which has exceeded 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) since last week. The heat stress could affect the dolphins’ immune system, metabolism, and behavior, making them more vulnerable to infections and predators.