After an unseasonably warm winter in North America, the discovery of 100 dolphins was made in February 2012. However, now more than 3,000 dolphins have been found dead on beaches in Perú this year, and environmentalists are so far stumped as to what could be the cause, Perú 21 reports.
One theory is that powerful waves caused by oil exploration ships could have resulted in internal damage for the mammals, Carlos Yaipen Llanos, science director of the marine mammal rescue group Organización Científica para Conservación de Animales Acuáticos (ORCA), told the Peruvian news source, according to Discovery News.
The first hundred dolphins washed up on the shores in February. At that time, some hypothesized they had consumed toxic fish, though testing was unable to confirm this was the case.
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. has paused similar acoustic testing for fear that it was having a fatal impact on the dolphin population.
In addition to the dolphins, MSNBC reported thousands of anchovies have also been found dead on Peruvian beaches.
This is not the first time in recent years that strange episodes of mass dead or dying sea life has washed on coastal shores. Blackbirds and fish were found dead in excessive numbers off of the coastlines of Norway and Arkansas in January 2012. The strange events warrant further investigation. It is also advised that all of us take notice of how behaviors can disrupt the ecosystem in a manner that could possibly be killing the ocean.
The oil spill in the Gulf may be a culprit, but at this time nothing conclusive has been reported.