Dolphins suffer from skin disease with climate change

Dolphins suffer from skin disease with climate change

Violet Field inPlanetDec 31, 2020 2 min read0 views

With prolonged exposure to fresh water, cetaceans develop bacteria and fungi on their skin, which can cause their death.


A dolphin died after being stranded in Tasman Bay, Australia, on September 24, 2020. - Mell CHUN / AFP

Some dolphins are currently affected by a disease of the skin caused by prolonged exposure to freshwater, reported The Guardian on Tuesday. It was American and Australian researchers who made this discovery while studying specimens off the coast of the United States, South America, and Australia.

These animals are affected by severe skin lesions, comparable to a third-degree burn, causing severe pain as well as the development of bacteria and fungi on their skin. The first injured dolphins were observed in 2005 in a lake, less salty than seawater, in Louisiana. Since then, the number of similar cases has increased.

In question, climate change

Dolphin skin "is as sensitive as ours, if not more so, which must be incredibly painful," says a veterinarian at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, who is also a co-author of an article published in the journal Scientific Reports. Dermatitis thus leads cetaceans to slow death and suffering.

They are therefore currently more exposed to the presence of fresh water in their natural habitat. And the researchers point out that climate change is at the root of this phenomenon.