Tag Archive | Brazil

109 dead baby turtles found on a beach in Lauro de Freitas, Brazil #Turtles #Brazil

Turtle Alert


The businessman Tigo Navilli made an appeal yesterday afternoon (13), on social networks, to the City Hall of Salvador and to the Tamar Project, after rescuing 192 baby sea turtles nestled between the cacti and the grass of Praia do Flamengo. According to him, 83 of them were alive and 109 were dead.

“It was by chance, I noticed a puppy in the sand and I was looking to try to see some more. I noticed a strange noise in the grass and the leaves were shaking. I approached, it was incredible, it looked like ants. I started to take my hand little by little to release it in the sea, until it didn’t work anymore, and I had to put it on my hat ”, he said.

Tigo says that the location, in which he found the young, made it difficult for the turtles to survive and requested that “the responsible bodies take action”.

Courtesy of criativaonline.com.br


Yellow fever killing thousands of monkeys ‘unprecedented’ in Minas Gerais, Brazil

In a vulnerable forest in southeastern Brazil, where the air was once thick with the guttural chatter of brown howler monkeys, there now exists silence. Yellow fever, a virus carried by mosquitoes and endemic to Africa and South America, has robbed the private, federally-protected reserve of its brown howlers in an unprecedented wave of death that has swept through the region since late 2016, killing thousands of monkeys.
Yellow fever, a virus carried by mosquitoes and endemic to Africa and South America, has robbed the private, federally-protected reserve of its brown howlers in an unprecedented wave of death that has swept through the region since late 2016, killing thousands of monkeys.
Karen Strier, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of anthropology, has studied the monkeys of this forest since 1983. She visited the reserve — her long-term study site near the city of Caratinga — in the state of Minas Gerais, in January of 2017. “It was just silence, a sense of emptiness,” she says. “It was like the energy was sucked out of the universe.”
Using what in some cases are decades of historical data, Strier and a team of Brazilian scientists focused on studying primates in Brazil’s patchwork Atlantic Forest are poised to help understand and manage what happens next. They have never seen monkeys perish in such numbers, so quickly, from disease.
With her Brazilian counterpart Sérgio Lucena Mendes, a professor of animal biology at the Universidade Federal de Espirito Santo, and their former postdoctoral researcher, Carla Possamai, Strier is ready to census the monkeys that remain at the reserve, comparing the new data to prior censuses performed in the forest. They also plan to study how the surviving brown howler monkeys regroup and restructure their societies, since their existing social groups have been destroyed.
Strier’s study forest, just 4 square miles in size, is a land-locked island of green surrounded by agricultural and pasture lands. How yellow fever showed up here is a mystery, and the monkeys in the forest have nowhere else to go. Less than 10 percent of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest remains intact and much of it exists only as small patches in a fragmented landscape.
“I am very surprised at the speed with which the outbreak is advancing through the landscape and by how the virus can jump from one patch of forest to another, even if they are hundreds of meters apart,” says Mendes. “It is also surprising that it is spreading across such a large geographic region.”
The way yellow fever has spread also concerns Brazilian health officials. As of mid-March 2017, they have confirmed more than 400 human cases of the disease, mostly in Minas Gerais, causing nearly 150 human deaths. The Brazilian Ministry of Health is investigating another 900 possible cases and concern is mounting that it will spread to cities, threatening many more people.
Brazilian authorities also want to protect the monkeys from people who fear the animals may be spreading the disease. “We need to show that they help inform when the virus arrives in a region, because being more sensitive than humans, they die first,” Mendes explains.
A dead monkey is like a canary in a coal mine, alerting public health officials that a pathogen may be present, mobilizing preventative and precautionary efforts. So, what does it mean when so many have perished?
“No one really knows the consequences for the other primates or the forest when nearly the entire population of an abundant species dies from disease in just a few months,” says Strier. “We are in a position to learn things we never knew before, with all the background information that we have collected.”
Nearly two decades ago, Strier helped expand and secure protection for the primates at her study forest, which include four monkey species: the brown howler, the black capuchin, the buffy-headed marmoset and, Strier’s animal of interest, the critically-endangered northern muriqui.
It is too soon to say whether the howler monkey population can recover but Strier remains optimistic, in large part because of a career spent studying and helping conserve the brown howler’s main competitor, the muriquis. “The muriquis have shown us that it’s possible for small populations of primates to recover if they are well-protected,” says Strier.
When she first arrived at her study forest, known as RPPN Feliciano Miguel Abdala, there were just 50 muriquis. By September 2016, there were nearly 340, representing one-third of the species’ total known population. The animals reside in just 10 forests in southeastern Brazil and nowhere else in the world. Strier’s efforts and those of her colleagues have helped restore their numbers.
She is relieved that, so far, the muriquis appear to be less susceptible to yellow fever. “It was really tense — scary — to go into the forest, knowing the howlers were gone but not knowing how bad things might also be for the muriquis,” Strier recalls.
Her long-term studies have revealed that muriquis have a lifespan of more than 40 years and she has known some of the individual muriquis in the forest their entire lives. Strier can recognize individuals based on natural differences in their fur and facial markings.
Now, in the face of ecological tragedy, she and her colleagues have an opportunity to study how the muriquis adapt in a forest nearly devoid of their competitors.
“It’s like a controlled natural experiment, but one you would never plan to do,” Strier says. “My happy hypothesis is that the muriquis are out foraging, feasting on all the best fruits and leaves that the howlers used to eat. Will they eat more of their favorite foods, or travel less? Will their social order change? Will they form smaller groups?”
She has documented that kind of behavioral flexibility before. In the late 1980s and early 90s, the muriquis began splitting into smaller groups. In the early 2000s, as their population grew, they began spending more time on the ground, rather than in the trees, often consuming fallen fruits and even half-eaten “leftovers” under the trees.
“I feel like I am 20 years old again” she says. “I have so many questions that are important to answer, for the primates, their Atlantic forest habitat, and for the people that share their world.”
Courtesy of sciencedaily.com

Oil spills from Petrobras pipeline into Brazil coastal area

Oil Spill Alert

Oil spilled from a pipeline linking a main Atlantic Ocean terminal with a refinery near Rio de Janeiro on Friday, Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said.
The spill contaminated a coastal wetland area and leaked into the ocean, a spokesman for the union representing employees at the refinery said.
The narrow coastal region where the spill occurred is in Rio de Janeiro’s Costa Verde or “Green Coast” – one of Brazil’s most beloved tourist regions and home to one of the last stands of the endangered Atlantic-Forest ecosystem.
Petrobras, as the company is known, said 600 liters (3.77 barrels) of oil leaked from the pipeline, 50 liters of which reached the ocean.
The oil spilled from a 40-inch (1.01-meter) diameter ORBIG pipeline that runs 123 kilometers (76 miles) from Angra dos Reis, where the company unloads some of its largest tankers, to the Duque de Caxias Refinery (REDUC), where much of the oil is turned into gasoline, diesel and other fuels.
REDUC, in suburban Rio de Janeiro, can process about 242,000 barrels of crude oil a day. REDUC is also a hub for pipelines linking oil terminals on Rio’s Guanabara Bay, oil and gas fields in the offshore Campos Basin and refineries further inland.
While the spill is relatively small, it is the latest in a series of refinery, pipeline and offshore-oil-platform accidents to hit the indebted and cash-strapped company.
Union officials and analysts have raised concerns that a giant corruption scandal may be hampering Petrobras’ maintenance operations. Arranging for such work has been complicated after the company banned more than 20 of Brazil’s major contractors from bidding for Petrobras projects after they were found to be involved in a price-fixing, bribery and political kick-back scheme.
Petrobras said the leak was caused by an attempt to steal fuel. The ORBIG pipeline is normally used to carry crude oil.
Also on Friday, a fire at a Petrobras fuel and crude pipeline pumping station in Atibaia, in Sao Paulo state, took two hours to control, the company said in a statement.
On Saturday, June 13, an attempt to make an illegal connection to what thieves thought was a water pipe, led to the a rupture in a gas pipeline near REDUC, the union said. No on was hurt in any of the accidents.
Courtesy of news.yahoo.com

Die off of fish in Araruama Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fish Kill Alert

Die off of fish in Araruama Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Helicopter Crashes Into House Killing 5 In Brazil

Five people have died after a helicopter crashed into a house in Brazil, according to local media.
Television reports showed aerial footage of firefighters working on the crash scene in Carapicuiba, Sao Paulo.
They could be seen evacuating residents from the area, though no-one was thought to be in the house. 
It is understood that the damaged house was under construction.
Authorities said they were investigating the cause of the crash.
According to reports the aircraft was making a test flight after the exchange of a main rotor blade. 
The accident occurred at around 5.20pm on Thursday, fire officials said.
It is understood the helicopter pilot and three mechanics were among the dead.
Courtesy of Sky News

Worst drought in 84 years and water rationing to 200 million in Brazil

National Emergency Alert

Brazil is struggling to supply enough water to its 200 million people, amid the worst drought in 84 years.
São Paulo’s 20 million citizens face having their tap water cut off five days a week, in a bid to conserve dwindling resources. Some 17% of Brazilian towns have declared a state of emergency.
In the centre and southeast of the country, electricity supplies are threatened as water levels drop to 18% in the reservoirs for hydropower generation.
“We have never seen such sensitive and worrying situation as this,” admitted the minister of environment, Izabella Teixeira.
Rain scarcity, deforestation of the watersheds around streams and rivers, high consumption in the big urban centers and waste in the water supply system are some of the reasons for the crisis.
It has brought into sharp focus the political response to extreme weather patterns, which are only expected to get more volatile with climate change.
“Public authorities need to be absolutely transparent in the information on the extent of the problem. We are living in a period of scarcity and there’s even a high probability of having a much more prolonged crisis”, said José Galizia Tundisi, president of the International Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IIEGA)
Low rainfall had played a big role, he argued, but was not primarily responsible for the collapse in water supplies.
In São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, governor Geraldo Alckmin is on the verge of announcing drastic measures to eke out the dwindling water reserves. The plan is to provide running water only two days a week.
This comes as a shock to the general public, who complain they were not informed about the risks during last October’s election.
Tundisi said: “There were few discussions. It is not only about drinking water, it is the whole set of elements regarding the water pollution, air pollution, soil deforestation, energy generation and sanitation. No one mentioned about those items.”
The scientific community is seeking to work with public authorities to develop emergency action plans and future solutions to adapt to changing rainfall patterns.
Last February, rectors of six universities in São Paulo announced the creation of a task force to help society to overcome the water crisis. This week in Rio de Janeiro, a group of renowned scientists from the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) launched a public report with ten recommendations.
This document was provided to public authorities in November 2014, but scientists complain they have not been contacted yet to discuss further action.
The situation could escalate and trigger social unrest, Tundisi warned. “It has outlined a complex reality reaching different social sectors. Added to climatological problems, the water crisis may be connected to economic damages, health, food security and natural resources. I am very much convinced there is a high danger of an upheaval if the government does not act now.”
Energy blackout
Water shortage also raises the risk of power blackouts. Normally, some 80% of Brazil’s electricity comes from hydropower plants. With reservoirs drying up, it is turning to generation from fossil fuels – a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
“This whole year we shall depend fully on thermal electricity. The chance of a deep energy crisis this year is very high,” said Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, executive secretary of the Brazilian Forum of Climate Change and member of ABC. He recommended an energy-saving policy to avoid blackouts.
“The government trusted the rainfall intensity would come to regularise the system. But there is no way the reservoirs can get back to their normal levels before the end of the rainfall period in April,” Rosa added.
All the projections suggest 2015 is a year Brazilians will have to get more efficient at using water, said José Marengo, researcher at the National Center for Monitoring and Alerts Natural Disasters (Cemaden).
Marengo is a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which last year published a comprehensive review of the science of climate change impacts.
Climate scientists are not yet convinced this extreme drought in Brazil is directly linked to global warming. Marengo said it will take at least five years to understand the weather trend.
“IPCC works with scenarios in which drought as the one we are facing will be more frequent, with high levels of uncertainty,” said Marengo. “Only with good water management and public policies, the impacts could be dampened in the future.”
Courtesy of RTCC

Severe Drought hits Brazil very hard

Drought Alert

Brazil faces its worst drought in 80 years amid a heatwave that has forced the authorities to take measures in several states of the South American nation.
According to the National Center for Monitoring and Disaster Alert (Cemaden) if the rains in the regional Cantareira system, which supplies 8.8 million people in Sao Paulo, remain 50 percent below average, this source could dry in four months, released today the newspaper Jornal do Brasil.
Speaking to this newspaper, specialist Adriana Cuartas said that five scenarios that take into account the possible impact of the rain were elaborated, and the results were compared with the time series of rainfall since 2004.
In statements to this Brazilian newspaper, Cuartas said it rained only 60.9 milimeters from the beginning of the month, equivalent to 22.5 percent of the historical average for January.
“We are monitoring, evaluating and seeing what happens to renew the projections,” she said .
Eight states and the federal district were affected by blackouts yesterday after the National Electric System Operator asked some suppliers to cut supply to prevent further crises because of the heatwave and a qualified unprecedented drought.
Among the most affected areas there were Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, Santa Catarina, Espíritu Santo and Goias, where there was a high consumption of air conditioning use.
In Sao Paulo, for example, the temperature may attain the 36.5 Celsius degrees.
Courtesy of Prensa Latina

Two trains collide injuring 140; Many rushed to hospital in Brazil

Train Crash Alert

Transport authorities in Rio de Janeiro have promised to investigate a late night train crash.
Two trains smashed into one another late Monday night outside the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, though no serious injuries have been reported.
At least 140 people were injured, with 129 being rushed to hospital, according to Brazilian media reports.
However, Brazil’s O’Globo newspaper has reported all but 22 of the injured are expected to leave hospital soon. At the time of writing, emergency workers were still at the scene of the crash – a train station in the Mesquita municipality.
The accident reportedly took place after one train crashed into another that had stopped at the station.
Rio de Janeiro state transport head Carlos Roberto Osorio has urged the public to await the results of an investigation into the incident before drawing conclusions.
According to RT, he stated the situation at the station was “normal” until the crash. “The preliminary reports I have say the train that crashed was not new, but was still in service and was not going to be replaced,” he stated.
Courtesy of Telesurtv

Lightning Strike Kills Four On Brazil Beach


A pregnant woman and her husband are among four members of the same family killed as violent storms hit the Sao Paulo region
At least four people have been killed by a lightning strike on a beach on the coast of Brazil.
Another four people were injured when a violent storm suddenly hit Praia Grande, near the port city of Santos, where the lightning strike happened on Monday.
Local media reported that among the dead was a pregnant woman and her husband, aunt and uncle.
Santos police did not provide an update on the condition of those injured.
The owner of a kiosk near the scene told Brazil’s Globo news network: “There was a noise like an explosion and I saw the lightning come down before a flash.
“There were more than 20 people in the area where it happened, either coming in from the sea or on the beach where the lightning hit.
“People were crying, panicking, then firefighters arrived with stretchers and equipment.”
Violent storms have ravaged southeast Brazil in recent days, with Sao Paulo bearing the brunt of the bad weather.
In the early hours of Monday, a storm downed scores of trees across the area with a population of almost 20 million, causing public transport chaos after more than 100 traffic lights malfunctioned.
Courtesy of Sky News