(3 Aug. 2010 Update: The number of dead fish and other water-dependent wildlife totaled over 6 million.) Due to the extremely high degree of interest and numerous comments generated by this disaster, we interviewed authorities
and took them the questions YOU posted in our forums. Here's what caused the fish and other wildlife to die.
The pink river dolphins were rescued and moved to a safe area! --- We ask you to be a bit patient as this page loads due to the many MANY comments that have been sent in.----- ORIGINAL POSTING -----
July 2010: Over 1 million fish and thousands of alligators, turtles, dolphins and other river wildlife are floating dead in numerous Bolivian rivers in the three eastern/southern departments of Santa Cruz, Beni and Tarija. The extreme cold front that hit Bolivia in mid-July caused water temperatures to dip below the minimum temperatures river life can tolerate. As a consequence, rivers, lakes, lagoons and fisheries are brimming with decomposing fish and other creatures.
Unprecedented: Nothing like this has ever been seen in this magnitude in Bolivia. Inhabitants of riverside communities report the smell is nauseating and can be detected as far as a kilometer away from river banks. River communities, whose livelihoods depend on fishing, fear they'll run out of food and will have nothing to sell. Authorities are concerned there will be a shortage of fish in markets and are more concerned by possible threats to public health, especially in communities that also use river water for bathing and drinking, but also fear contaminated or decaying fish may end up in market stalls. They've begun a campaign to ensure market vendors and the public know how to tell the difference between fresh and unhealthy fish.
In university fish ponds and commercial fisheries the losses are also catastrophic.
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