February 23, 2018
Latest News

Satellites monitoring endangered pink dolphins in Brazil's Amazon region

Sao Paulo, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Threatened by hydroelectric projects, pollution and fishing, Amazon river dolphins - also known as "botos" or pink river dolphins - are now being tracked and monitored via satellite, a pioneer initiative in the region to increase knowledge about a species on which little data exists.

Considered to be the "Ambassadors of the Amazon River," the freshwater dolphins are included by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in the category of animals about which there is "insufficient data."

Now, a group of governmental and civil organizations, headed by the World Wildlife Fund, have started to monitor the dolphin populations in the Amazon region's rivers in Brazil, Colombia and Bolivia, a project that can help fill the gap in knowledge about the aquatic mammals.

A select group of 11 dolphins are observed each day by researchers with the aim of registering their travel and activity routes, gathering information about their genetic profile and verifying, among other things, the extent of their contamination with mercury.

Following their activities is possible thanks to the installation of small devices on the dolphins that send real time information about the animals' location several times per day.

"It's a pioneer system in Amazonia. It had been done by radio, but this is the first time that it's being done by satellite and thus we're managing to follow the animals in real time," Marcelo Oliveira, a conservation expert with WWF Brazil's Amazonia Project, told EFE.

A total of five dolphins are being followed in Brazil's Tapajos River basin; one in the area between Colombia and Peru and five others in the vicinity of the Madeira River, in Bolivia and Brazil.

All of them are of the species Inia geoffrensis and Inia boliviensis, two of the four dolphin species found in Amazonia.

In addition to mercury contamination, researchers want to analyze the impact of hydroelectric project construction on the dolphins' behavior.

In the Tapajos River basin alone there are 40 hydroelectric projects in the planning stages, the WWF says, and one began operating in October which, researchers say, could affect the animals' habitat and food sources.

Pink dolphins are also under pressure because of local fishing. Dolphin flesh is fatty and attracts "piracatinga," a type of commercially exploited catfish, and thus Amazon fishermen often kill the dolphins to use as bait.

The WWF estimates that there are between 20,000 and 50,000 dolphins in the Amazon region, although there are huge "unexplored" zones in the area and the figure is considered to be untrustworthy.

News history
Mexican finds way to reprogram neurons affected by Alzheimer's

Mexico City, Feb 22 (epa-efe).- Neurobiologist Luis Carrillo developed a technique to re-program neuron groups affected by degenerative brain diseases such...

Family members mark anniversary of deadly 2012 Argentine rail disaster

Buenos Aires, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- Relatives of the victims of a commuter train crash at a Buenos Aires station six years ago, one of the worst rail tragedies...

Venezuelan transplant patients protest shortage of medicines

Caracas, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- More than two-dozen Venezuelan transplant patients protested here Thursday over a nationwide shortage of life-saving medicines,...

Kenya LGBT rights groups fight for decriminalization of gay sex

Nairobi, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- Three lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups in Kenya on Thursday began the legal battle in the country's High...

Amnesty International: speaking up in Spain has become dangerous

Madrid, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- One of the world's foremost human rights organizations on Thursday released a report in which it decried how basic rights,...

Less EU citizens moving to UK to look for work, official data shows

London, Feb 22 (EFE).- Net migration to the United Kingdom from other countries in the European Union has fallen over the last year, according to a report...

China rules out possibilty of arson in Jokhang temple fire

Beijing, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- An investigation into a fire at Lhasa's Jokhang Temple, one of the most renowned temples in Tibetan Buddhism, has ruled out...

Colombian teachers mount 1-day strike

Bogota, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- Thousands of Colombian public school teachers launched a 24-hour national walkout on Wednesday demanding that the government...

Argentina's Macri urges transition to renewables at G20 forum

Buenos Aires, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- The world needs to embrace the challenge of making the transition to renewable sources of energy, Argentine President...

Paris Solidarity night results: 3,000 people sleep rough on its streets

Paris, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- The City Hall of the French capital announced the results on Wednesday of its so-called "Solidarity Night" which endeavored to...

Famed US evangelical Christian pastor Billy Graham dead at 99

Washington, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- Famed evangelical Christian pastor and evangelist Billy Graham, a charismatic figure for decades in the United States and...

Greenpeace urges Shell to accept its role in climate disasters

Manila, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- Dozens of Greenpeace activists on Wednesday entered a Shell refinery in the Philippines to demand the company cooperate with an...

Australia rejects ex-PM's call to cut annual immigration intake

Sydney, Australia, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- Australia's treasurer on Wednesday defended the annual permanent immigration intake in the country following a...

Acid rain destroying Mexico's cultural heritage

Mexico City, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- Acid rain, caused by pollutants being dumped into the atmosphere by humans every day, is destroying the cultural heritage of...

Ibero-America improves access to education, but quality is lacking

Sao Paulo, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- Ibero-American countries have improved access to education, but continue to fall short in terms of quality, the senior...

Papal envoy to Chile starts meetings with witnesses in sex-abuse scandal

Santiago, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- Malta Archbishop Charles Scicluna began Tuesday in Chile a series of meetings with witnesses to Bishop Juan Barros's suspected...

Parents protest drug shortages at Venezuela's main pediatric hospital

Caracas, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- Parents of patients at J.M. de Los Rios Hospital, Venezuela's foremost pediatric care institution, chained themselves to the...

Mexican deportees, thorny battles and the ordeal of remaking one's life

Reynosa, Mexico, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- After crossing the Rio Grande to enter the United States, Alfredo cut his arms and legs on barbed wire delimiting...

French study finds pesticides in 72 percent of fruits, 41 percent vegetables

Paris, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- According to a study released Tuesday by a French environmental organization that cites official figures, traces of pesticides...

Indonesia pushes criminal code reforms to outlaw sexual freedom

Ricardo Perez-Solero

Court grants custody to Japanese father of 13 kids born to Thai surrogates

Bangkok, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- A Thai court on Tuesday awarded the paternity rights of 13 children born to Thai surrogate mothers to a 28-year-old Japanese man.

Peruvian police launch special force against family violence

Lima, Feb 19 (efe-epa).- The Peruvian police on Monday established the Squadron for the Prevention of Family Violence, consisting of a hundred officers who...

Raptors to be used to monitor environmental contaminants in Europe

Ciudad Real, Spain, Feb 19 (efe-epa).- More than 60 researchers from two-dozen European countries are meeting in this central Spanish city starting Monday...

World's only non-Chinese-owned giant pandas reach advanced age in Mexico City

Mexico City, Feb 19 (efe-epa).- It's 10 am and Xin Xin, now 27 years old and 102 kilograms (225 pounds), walks slowly down a corridor to begin her daily...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.