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Hundreds of dead penguins wash up on Brazil shores

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posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 12:55 AM
Hundreds of dead penguins wash up on Brazil shores

Magellanic penguins swim off the coast of Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hundreds of dead penguins and other sea animals have washed up on Sao Paulo state's shores and scientists are investigating the causes, according to environment officials.Hundreds of dead penguins and other sea animals have washed up on Sao Paulo state's shores and scientists are investigating the causes, environment officials told Folha Online news agency.

The Institute of Environment and Natural Resources said 530 penguins, numerous other sea birds, five dolphins and three giant sea turtles have been found in the coastal towns of Peruibe, Praia Grande and Itanhaem, with more likely on other nearby beaches.

Sao Paulo University biologists and a wildlife research center are looking into the possible reasons for the animal deaths, the institute said.

Praia Grande authorities have ruled out pollution, saying preliminary investigations point to starvation as the cause.

The most likely scenario for the penguin deaths is exhaustion and hunger during their long migration from the waters off Argentina's southern Patagonia region, said Andrea Maranho, a veterinarian for the Sea Animal Rehabilitation Center in Praia Grande.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 01:04 AM
|ncredible! This is the third report in the last day or two. The others were of small fish, and of seashells. Could this be due to a lack of food in all cases?

I'm not alarmed yet since this may happen every once in a while anyway. However the events of the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico, has made me pay more attention to whats going on and whats happening to the planet.

Part of me thinks that we have three years left until we really feel it and she's on her last breaths. I hope not, but I am tying to make the last 1000 days the happiest and fulfilling as I can.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 01:07 AM
Good thread. It is really odd. I hope they come back with some conclusions soon. I would really like to know what killed them.

I hope its not the gulf spill. Thats pretty far reaching relatively quickly if it is.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 01:17 AM
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander

Would you really be surprised if it was because of the oil?
Could be other human caused reasons as well.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 01:27 AM
reply to post by gardCanada

I would actually. Especially since they have ruled out pollution directly. That would mean that something was killing the fish they eat, (either the oil or dispersant, or perhaps even methane levels) in sufficient quantities and at that distance from the spill itself.

Of course I have been hoping the problems from the spill would stay relatively localized. It may not be reasonable, but I have been hopeful.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 01:37 AM
From what I've heard, there have not been many large storms in the Gulf of Mexico as of late so this is good news... I wonder, though, what would cause the food source to die creating the conditions for starvation.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 02:17 AM
There sure appears to be a lot of dead creatures washing up on beaches in that region of the world lately.. at least at face value it sure seems that way. I'm sure that stuff like this happens every day around the world but I must admit be being slightly suspicious about the BP spill. I guess the next thing to do is research whether the tides would take the pollution that way.


posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 02:28 AM
This may or may not be relevant. It is very cold here in South Africa this year (last few weeks). I've also seen similar reports from South America, and i was reading that antartic seas are properly cold this year.

Now we had a mass penguin death at the start of the cold, which came very quickly and was bitterly cold. This killed off large numbers of penguins on our coast.

Conservationists assured us that while it is a tragedy, it does fall within the bounds of "natural event" and is not to be overly worried about.

So i raise this as a possible explanation, the perhaps it's slightly colder than usual in the southern hemisphere this season, and some animals are dying because of it.

Whatever the global warming people argue, cold is more deadly to all life than heat, and any "forecasts" showing global warming do not preclude it from being very very cold at times either.

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:56 PM
They had an article on CNN about it:

Nunes said it is possible that the cold waters, brought on by a regional cold front, made the fish that the penguins eat seek other waters.

It's normal for Magellan penguins to leave their colonies in the Antarctic in an annual migration in search of fish, following the plankton-rich, frigid water currents traveling north along the coast of South America. What has changed is that they are increasingly unable to return home because they get sick, weak or disoriented for reasons that have yet to be determined.

Here is the water temperatures of the US Coasts:

Here is the recent temperatures for South America: It's in celsius

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 03:08 PM
Well looks like at least one of us need to do some investigation.

So they went hungry. So basically what we need to do is follow up on what they eat, see if any of those organisms have migratory patters from a polluted region (where they would have died off) and whala we have something to go on..

The Magellanic Penguin belongs to the Spheniscus genus of Penguins, along with the closely related African Penguin and the Humboldt and Galapagos Penguins. Populations of Magellanic penguins are distributed along the southern coast of Chile and Argentina (from Peninsula Valdez to Tierra del Fuego). Further smaller populations are found on the Falkland Islands. The main colonies are at Punta Tombo in Argentina (up to 250000 pairs) and Magdalena Island in Chile (up to 60000 pairs).
No subspecies or subtypes are recognized.

They seem to be a pretty well populated species. So this isn't as concerning as it should be as the penguins seem to be doing just fine.

Magellanic penguins feed on a variety of organisms such as small fish (e.g. anchovies), cephalopods (e.g. squids) and crustaceans (e.g. krill). The diet at any particular location and time reflects fluctuations in food availability. Fish are the most abundant prey during the breeding season. When food is plentiful near the colony, fishing is usually a daytime activity within around 30km of the coast with penguins returning to land in the late afternoon.

Adult Magellanic penguins usually remain near their colonies at all times with only birds from the most southerly colonies moving to warmer waters during the winter period. Immature birds are less bound to the colony and tend to be found near food sources.


Although I'm sure some of their food comes from the gulf it seems like they eat such a variety of organisms that it would be implausible to think this was due to anything having to do with the gulf oil spill. These birds where probably migrating to warmer waters as it seems they sometimes do. It is the winter season down there after all. As tragic as this is I don't think this was a man made/caused event.


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