[QODLink]
Americas
Brazil investigates mass penguin deaths
Veterinarians puzzled by hundreds of dead, mostly young penguins, being found on beaches in Brazil's southern state.
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2012 08:02
Every winter, penguins are washed up on Rio de Janeiro beaches - but the reason behind the increasing number of dead penguins found is still unknown[Reuters]

Brazilian authorities are investigating the deaths of more than 500 penguins found washed up on beaches of Brazil's southern Rio Grande do Sul state, authorities said Friday.

The Center of Coastal and Marine Studies (Ceclimar) said veterinarians were investigating the deaths of the 512 marine animals which beached on the coast between the towns of Tramandai and Cidreira, some 100km from the state capital, Porto Alegre.

Some 30 samples from the penguins were being analysed at Porto Alegre University and results were to be released within a month, it added.

Ceclimar officials told Globo's G1 website that veterinarians were puzzled by the large quantity of animals found and by the fact that they appeared well fed, not exhausted and without injuries or oil stains.

These Magellenic penguins, named after the Magallenes region in which they breed, mate in large colonies in southern Argentina and Chile.

They traditionally migrate north between March and September along the Rio Grande do Sul coast to head up to Sao Paulo. Their diet consists mainly of small fish and marine crustaceans and their chief enemy is the southern sea lion.

Some penguins also arrive from the Antarctic Circle on ice floes that melt in the vicinity of Brazil's shore, and the birds are washed up on Rio de Janeiro beaches every winter.

214

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.