Environmentalists report rising heat-related deaths of monkeys, birds, and bats in Mexico

The Mexican government has reported that the death toll of howler monkeys due to heat-related causes has reached 157. Unfortunately, only a few of these primates have received treatment or are currently in the process of recovering.

An animal park in northern Mexico has confirmed receiving reports of the deaths of over a hundred parrots, bats, and other animals, which are believed to be caused by dehydration.

A heat dome has formed over the southern Gulf of Mexico and northern Central America, resulting in clear skies and scorching temperatures throughout Mexico.

Environmentalists recently reported the discovery of 138 deceased midsize primates in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. These primates are known for their powerful roaring vocal calls. The unfortunate deaths occurred between May 16 and last week. Additionally, it is predicted that nearly two-thirds of the country will experience scorching temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday.

The number of deaths reported by the Environment Department has risen to 157, with ongoing research being conducted to determine the causes of these deaths.

Wildlife biologist Gilberto Pozo believes that the deaths of the monkeys were caused by a heat stroke. He points out that there is a combination of factors, including high temperatures, drought, forest fires, and logging, that have deprived the monkeys of water, shade, and the fruit they rely on for sustenance. However, Pozo also acknowledges that it is too early to rule out the possibility of a pathogen, disease, or other factors contributing to the deaths.

According to the department, fatalities have been reported in both Tabasco and the neighboring state of Chiapas. Currently, there are 13 monkeys receiving treatment, while seven have already been treated and released back into their natural habitat. Dehydration is one of the main issues being addressed, with three monkeys in serious but stable condition.

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The survival of the howler monkeys was uncertain due to the impact of heat, fires, and deforestation on their habitat. Releasing them back into the wild might not guarantee their well-being.

Ena Buenfil, the director of the Selva Teenek eco-park in the northern state of San Luis Potosi, shared with The Associated Press on Monday that her facility has been inundated with the devastating effects of the heat, leading to the deaths of parrots, bats, and toucans.

The clinic to assist animals quickly became overwhelmed with sick birds and reports from locals finding dead or suffering birds, as the heat wave started in mid-May, according to Buenfil.

According to Buenfil, the limited resources available to authorities mean that the reported number of affected animals is likely just a fraction of the total. However, Buenfil also mentioned that their organization has collaborated with Civil Protection to provide assistance to a few birds.

According to Buenfil, birds are primarily at risk of dehydration in hot weather due to their inability to store water. Additionally, bats may also suffer from dehydration while resting in the scorching afternoon heat. Buenfil suggests that individuals in the area should consider placing bowls of water outside to help provide relief for these animals.

According to her, the current situation is unprecedented. She emphasized that if there are more instances of extreme heat like this, there will be limited options available to help the animals.

Buenfil expressed concern about the potential consequences of the ongoing heat waves in the region, stating that there could be significant harm to the ecosystem.

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Howler monkeys, although intimidating, have a strong and muscular physique. They can reach heights of up to 90 centimeters (3 feet) and have equally long tails. Certain males can weigh over 13.5 kilograms (30 pounds) and have a lifespan of up to 20 years. These monkeys possess powerful jaws and formidable teeth and fangs. However, their most notable characteristic is their lion-like roars, which are quite surprising considering their size.

The country has been experiencing a significant lack of rainfall this year, which has led to a concerning situation. Lakes and dams are drying up, and the water supplies are rapidly depleting. To combat this issue, authorities have been forced to transport water to various locations, including hospitals and fire-fighting teams. Additionally, the low water levels at hydroelectric dams have resulted in power outages in certain areas of the country.

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