Lake Where More Than 150 Pink River Dolphins Have Died Sets New Heat Record in the Amazon

Amidst severe drought, experts test new methods for removing animals from the bay


The team monitoring pink river dolphins and tucuxis in an overheated lake in Tefé, Amazonas, detected a record high water temperature, found another dead animal—after a pause in deaths for ten days—and started testing new methods to drive away the freshwater dolphins due to the ongoing extreme drought in the central Solimões River region.

AMAZONAS , 23,09.2023 , BRASIL. Pink river dolphins and tucuxis were found dead in Lake Tefé, in the Amazonas region. Credito André Zumak / Instituto Mamirauá - Instituto Mamirauá

This information comes from a technical report concluded on Friday (20) by ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation) and the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute, responsible for the operation.

The report updates the number of deaths of pink river dolphins (also known as pink dolphins) and tucuxis (another species of dolphin, smaller in size): 154, since September 23. Among the deceased individuals, 131 were pink river dolphins, and 23 were tucuxis.

So far, the most likely hypothesis for the deaths is the overheating of Lake Tefé, especially in the Papucu bay, very close to the port of Tefé. The bay is rich in fish and is one of the favorite spots for dolphins.

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