In response to the extreme drought affecting Amazon river dolphins in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, the SeaWorld Conservation Fund has provided an emergency grant to the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development (IDSM). The extreme drought and heat in the region have led to 154 reported casualties among the unique pink river dolphins and tucuxi dolphins since September 2023.
The IDSM is utilising the grant to recover dolphin carcasses, analyse biological samples to determine the cause of death, and implement a comprehensive rescue plan. This plan aims to rescue, treat, and translocate healthy dolphins to a more suitable natural habitat.
Recognized globally for its leadership in research programs, natural resource management, and social development, the IDSM is collaborating with the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) to monitor the Tefé Dolphins Emergency Operation. This operation includes sectors for live monitoring, dead animal monitoring, and environmental monitoring to address the crisis comprehensively.
Dr. Chris Dold, President of the SeaWorld Conservation Fund, emphasised the Fund’s commitment to preventing the extinction of the endangered Amazon river dolphins. He stated, “The Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development remains a leading force in the drive to prevent the extinction of this rare, endangered species, and our fund is privileged to play a part in helping them in this important endeavour.”
The SeaWorld Conservation Fund has granted over $85,000 to assist IDSM in critical efforts such as sample collection, health assessments, water quality control, and essential animal resources. The crisis has seen 154 deceased Amazon river dolphins, with water temperature identified as a significant variable, reaching record-high temperatures of 29°C to 40°C in Lake Tefé. The SeaWorld Conservation Fund’s support covers expenses related to sample handling, lab analyses, environmental monitoring, and animal translocation and importation costs.
Since its establishment in 2003, the SeaWorld Conservation Fund has provided over $20 million in grants to support 1,391 different animal conservation and ecosystem projects on all seven continents. The Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development, founded in 1999, focuses on applying science, technology, and innovation for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the Amazon.
The SeaWorld Conservation Fund continues to play a vital role in supporting grassroots conservation projects globally, contributing to species research, habitat protection, conservation education, and animal rescue and rehabilitation.