‘Sentinel’ Dolphins Die in Brazil Bay

‘Sentinel’ Dolphins Die in Brazil Bay. Some Worry a Way of Life Has, Too.

Photographs and Text by DADO GALDIERIAPRIL 2, 2018

 Dado Galdieri for The New York Times

ITACURUÇA, Brazil — Something ominous was happening in the turquoise waters of Sepetiba Bay, a booming port outside Rio de Janeiro. Beginning late last year, fishermen were coming across the scarred and emaciated carcasses of dolphins, sometimes five a day, bobbing up to the surface.

Since then, scientists there have discovered more than 200 dead Guiana dolphins, or Sotalia guianensis, a quarter of what was the world’s largest concentration of the species. The deaths, caused by respiratory and nervous system failures linked to a virus, have subsided, but scientists are working to unravel the mystery behind them…

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