Authorities announced Friday that massive strandings of dead birds on the Mexican coast, after similar phenomena in Peru and Chile, would be the “highly likely” result of “warming Pacific waters.”
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The Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, after analysis, ruled out the presence of the AH5N1 virus responsible for avian influenza, and determined that the birds “starved to death,” according to a joint press release.
“The most likely cause of this pandemic event is the warming of the waters of the Pacific Ocean, due to the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon,” it was determined.
According to the ministries, the warming of the surface of the Pacific Ocean is causing fish to sink deeper, preventing birds from catching them.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced last week in the US that the El Niño weather phenomenon, which is usually associated with rising global temperatures, occurs on average every two to seven years, and is already beginning to show its effects.
In Mexico, Buller’s Shearwater is considered a vulnerable species according to the IUCN, which lives offshore and breeds on the islands, found dead, as well as seagulls and pelicans.
These wild birds usually die offshore and are washed away by ocean currents, according to the same statement, emphasizing that the search continues.