More than a hundred dolphins have been discovered dead in the Brazilian Amazon due to a historic drought and record-high water temperatures that have exceeded 102 degrees Fahrenheit in some places.
According to the Mamirauá Institute, a research facility funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, the dead dolphins were discovered in Lake Tefé over the last seven days.
According to the institute, such a high number of deaths is unusual, and it is possible that record-high lake temperatures and historic drought in the Amazon were to blame.
The news is likely to exacerbate climate scientists’ concerns about the effects of human activity and extreme droughts on the region.
The Amazon River, the world’s largest waterway, is currently in the dry season, and several specimens of river fauna are also suffering from record-high temperatures.
Researchers and activists are trying to rescue surviving dolphins by transferring them from lagoons and ponds in the outskirts to the main body of the river where the water is cooler, reported CNN Brasil, but the operation is not easy due to the remoteness of the area.
“Transferring river dolphins to other rivers is not that safe because it’s important to verify if toxins or viruses are present [before releasing the animals into the wild],” André Coelho, a researcher at the Mamiraua Institute, told CNN Brasil.