Amazon river dolphins warn of mercury threat to humans

Amazon river dolphins warn of mercury threat to humans

The Amazon river dolphin, also known as the pink river dolphin, is warning humans of the dangerous levels of mercury in the river system. A new study has found that the mercury levels in the river have risen to such an extent that it is now affecting the dolphins and, potentially, the human populations who rely on the river for their food and water.

The research, which was conducted by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA), discovered that the mercury levels in the Amazon river system have risen to levels that are harmful to the dolphins. The study analysed the hair samples of 46 dolphins living in the region and found that 60% of them had levels of mercury above the safe threshold.

The researchers believe that the mercury is being released into the river system from illegal gold mining activities in the Amazon. The gold mining activities involve the use of mercury to extract the gold from the soil. The mercury then leaches into the river system, where it is absorbed by the dolphins and other aquatic animals.

The Amazon river dolphin is a vital part of the ecosystem of the Amazon river system, playing a key role in the dispersal of nutrients and maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. The dolphins also provide an important source of food for the local communities who rely on the river for their sustenance.

The study highlights the urgent need to address the issue of illegal gold mining in the Amazon and the release of mercury into the river system. The researchers are calling for stricter regulations and enforcement measures to tackle the problem and protect both the dolphins and human populations who rely on the river for their livelihoods.

In addition to the impact on the dolphins and humans, the release of mercury into the river system can also have a wider impact on the environment. Mercury is a toxic substance that can cause damage to the ecosystem, affecting the plants and animals that rely on the river for their survival.

The findings of the study highlight the importance of protecting the Amazon river system and the species that rely on it. The researchers hope that their findings will lead to greater awareness of the issue and spur action to address the problem of illegal gold mining and the release of mercury into the river system.

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