Ukraine, at least 5,000 dolphins have died in the Black Sea since the beginning of the war: “It’s an environmental tragedy”

Ukraine, at least 5,000 dolphins have died in the Black Sea since the beginning of the war: “It’s an environmental tragedy”

“At least five thousand dolphins” have died in the Black Sea since the start of the war in Ukraine. This was stated by Ivan Rusev, a doctor of biological sciences from the Tuzlivski Lymani National Park in the Odessa region.

According to Rusev, they would be collateral victims of the ongoing conflict: the cause of death lies in the military sonars used by Russian ships and submarines, which are widespread in this area, sonar that damages the hearing of dolphins and interferes with their ability to They rely on echolocation to hunt, navigate, and evade predators.

The loss of this ability makes these animals particularly vulnerable: “They become completely disoriented, they lose their points of reference. They crash into rocks and are unable to forage for food. Dolphins that can’t eat lose weight very quickly,” Rusev told RFI.

An underestimated figure because not all dead dolphins run aground on the beach, but many end up on the seabed and anyway, Rusev’s team can currently monitor “only 3-5% of the Ukrainian coast”: the real number could be in the “tens of thousands” of animals be.

«It is a huge tragedy – explains Rusev -. People need to realize that the death of dolphins in the Black Sea means the death of its ecosystem. It’s an environmental tragedy. Dolphins, the smartest animals in the world, die in war ».

Before the war, a comprehensive survey of the Black Sea whale population found that there were at least 253,000 dolphins in the Black Sea and the population “had not declined in the last 20 years”. Environmental scientists from Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania are now reporting a significant increase in the number of dead dolphins brought ashore.

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