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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Peru says 5,000 birds, nearly 900 dolphins dead

• http://phys.org, AFP
 The country's northern beaches were earlier this week declared off-limits as scientists scrambled to pin down what was causing such a massive toll, with non-government organizations blaming work.

But Peru's deputy environment minister Gabriel Quijandria, disputed this and said , which disturbs species' food supplies, was a possible cause.

He said that although tests conducted on 877 dolphins found dead on the coast had not been completed, contamination from or the presence of bacterial infections was not responsible.

It is probable that the phenomenon "will extend to other coastal areas," Quijandria said, noting that there could be a resulting increase in the numbers of birds and other sea life killed.

The South American nation's health ministry declared an alert at the weekend, urging the public to stay away from the beaches around Lima and on the northern coast until the cause of death of marine life is known.

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