Peru investigates deaths of more than 500 pelicans
Published: 30th Apr 2012 01:22:17
The government of Peru is investigating the deaths of more than 500 pelicans along a 70km stretch of shoreline in northern Peru.
Officials say tests suggest the birds died on shore over the past few days.
Scientists also found the carcasses of dozens of other sea birds.
The animals were found in the same region of Peru where more than 700 dolphins were washed ashore earlier this year. The cause of their death is still unknown.
The Peruvian government said it was "deeply worried".
A preliminary report said that there was no evidence to show the pelicans had died at sea, but rather that they had died on the beach where they were found.
But it said further tests would be needed to establish the cause of their death.
Reports said a total of more than 1,200 pelican corpses had been found in the Piura and Lambayeque region.
So far, government scientists have been able to examine a 70km stretch of shoreline, on which they found 592 dead sea birds, 538 of them pelicans.
Between January and April of this year, at least 780 dead dolphins have been washed ashore in Lambayeque, according to government figures.
Peru's Deputy Minister for Natural Resource Development, Gabriel Quijandria Acosta, said a virus might have killed the dolphins.
A viral epidemic outbreak was linked to similar deaths of marine wildlife in Peru in the past, as well as in Mexico and the United States.
Scientists from the Peruvian Maritime Institute said results of tests carried out on the dead dolphins would be released in the coming days.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Peru investigates deaths of more than 500 pelicans [Online] (Updated 30th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1425377/Peru-investigates-deaths-of-more-than-500-pelicans [Accessed 7th Mar 2014]
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