Heat waves cause bird deaths in Tamaulipas

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Dozens of specimens have died in the reserves of Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí, due to heat stroke, dehydration, and forest fires.

The second heat wave, which has already broken temperature records in 10 cities in the Mexican Republic, is causing the massive death of wild birds in Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí, where thermometers exceed 50 degrees Celsius.

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In the El Cielo Biosphere Reserve, located southeast of Tamaulipas and the Sierra del Abra Tanchipa Biosphere Reserve, northeast of San Luis Potosi, in the Sierra Madre Oriental corridor, they are appearing lifeless, lying on the ground, dozens of old-headed parrots (Pionus senilis); Tamaulipas parrots (Amazona viridigenalis); yellow-headed parrots (Amazona oratrix), and yellow-cheeked parrots (Amazona autumnalis),

Erick Rubén Rodríguez Ruíz, member of the Tamaulipas Parks and Biodiversity Commission, revealed that the specimens die from heat stroke and dehydration, which increases due to the four forest fires that are currently being recorded in Tamaulipas and three in San Luis Potosi.

He highlighted that in the southern part of Tamaulipas and the border with San Luis Potosí, temperatures have reached up to 52 degrees Celsius (126°F), in municipalities such as Xicoténcatl, Llera, El Mante, Gómez Farías, and Antiguo Morelos, as well as close to Huasteca Potosina, in the municipalities of Ciudad del Maíz and Ciudad Valles.

The doctor of Sciences highlighted that wild birds are getting dangerously close to municipal capitals in search of water, due to heat waves and drought – which will become increasingly intense and recurrent due to climate change -, so He urged the population to support by placing hanging and ground-level waterers for wildlife species.

How to help a bird in distress:
-Avoid submerging the animal in water, as this could cause thermal shock.
-Place the animal under the shade with a cloth, but be careful, as some birds can sting.
-Lightly spray the animal with room-temperature water.
-Do not open the animal’s beak and give it water if it is unconscious to avoid broncho-aspiration, that is, the liquid going through its airways.

For his part, Francisco Javier Sahagún Sánchez, professor-researcher at the University of Guadalajara (UdeG), with 10 years developing projects in the Huasteca area, warned that in addition to the death of Tamaulipas parrots and yellow-headed parrots, species in danger of extinction, according to Official Mexican Standard 059, there is also a report of the death of a coyote due to heat stroke.

The doctor in Environmental Sciences explained that although there is a history of bird mortality events due to high temperatures, “particularly this one has manifested itself in an exacerbated way, and I do not have the elements, but perhaps there are other factors that are adding up, like the radiation that the Earth is receiving, which could be influencing.

Sahagún Sánchez pointed out that in the face of the climate emergency, the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp), and the National Forestry Commission (Conafor), must strengthen strategies and have more resources to place drinking fountains (Aguajes) within the reserves. ecological and implement preventive actions against fires, such as opening firebreaks and strengthening community brigades.

On social networks, the Selva Teenek Ecopark shelter located in Ciudad Valles, in the Huasteca Potosina, expressed its concern about the appearance of parrots, toucans, and owls with heat stroke, due to the high temperatures that hit the country and the drought.

In just two days, members of this non-governmental organization collected 22 dehydrated birds, including 15 owls, which require rehabilitation, before returning to their natural habitat.

Source: Excelsior

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