(Filephoto) River Dolphins in Rio Negro

Amazonian river dolphins killed by severe drought

The Amazon River Basin, known for its rich biodiversity, has witnessed a tragic event. Over the past week, 120 river dolphin carcasses have been discovered floating in its tributaries. Experts suspect that the severe drought and extreme heat are the culprits behind this mass mortality.

Dolphin Discovery

The carcasses of these dolphins were discovered floating in a tributary of the Amazon River in Brazil. The Mamiraua Institute, a renowned research group, reported that two additional dolphins were found dead near Tefe Lake.

Image shows three turtles on a sandy mound surrounded by water, in a natural environment
A rare turtle species is further threatened by Brazil's growing hydroelectric power industry.

Hydroelectric plants put turtle habitats at risk

In a recent study, scientists in Brazil are sounding the alarm for the Williams' side-necked turtle (Phrynops williamsi), a rare species found only in Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest and neighboring Pampa grasslands. The growing hydroelectric power industry in the country poses a grave threat to these turtles, already classified as "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk at Hong Kong
File photo of Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk at Hong Kong

Brazil seizes record haul of illegal shark fins

Brazil's environmental protection agency, Ibama, estimated that approximately 11,000 blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks, which Brazil listed as endangered last month, were killed.

The fins, which were destined for Asia, where shark fin soup is considered a delicacy, were found in two locations.

Brazil's Fernando de Noronha

Baia dos Porcos and Doïs Irmaos islets, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Baia dos Porcos and Doïs Irmaos islets, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Five hundred and twenty-five kilometres from Recife on the northeastern coast of South America (or 350km from Natal as the crow flies), the minuscule specks of land of Fernando de Noronha are to Brazil what the Galapagos Islands are to Ecuador—but on the other side of the continent.

The reef appears to sprawl across more than 3,600 square miles of ocean floor at the edge of the South American continental shelf, from the southern tip of French Guiana to Brazil’s Maranhão State.

Extensive reef system discovered at the Amazon River mouth

The existence of the reef have come as big surprise because many of the world’s great rivers produce major gaps in reef systems where no corals grow. There was little previous evidence because corals mostly thrive in clear, sunlit, salt water, and the equatorial waters near the mouth of the Amazon are some of the muddiest in the world, with vast quantities of sediment washed thousands of miles down the river and swept hundreds of miles out to sea.

Specimen photographed underwater in Arraial do Cabo, SE Brazil.

Invasive lionfish have now reached Brazilian waters

In an article just published in the open-access science journal PloS One, the first appearance of lionfish off the Brazilian coast has been reported.

The invasion of the northwestern Atlantic by the Indo-Pacific lionfish has developed extraordinarily fast, and is expected to cause one of the most negative ecological impacts among all marine invasions. Despite the anticipation that lionfish would eventually extend their range throughout most of the eastern coast of South America, it had not been recorded in Brazil until now.

Fernando de Noronha

If I were to tell you about a special place where no one locks their doors at night, where crime is virtually nonexistent, where the number of tourists is intentionally restricted to preserve the ecological balance, and where each visitor must pay a daily fee of 15 Euros (approximately US$20) to protect the environment, would you think about Brazil? Probably not!

Brazil’s Ilha Grande

There are a few places on this planet where things seem to fall into place without any hesitation. Ilha Grande, Brazil, is one of these places. Even on busy weekends, there is a no-stress atmosphere. On the beach, in the garden hammock, or at 20 metres depth—it’s all laid back and lazy.