The Russian invasion of Ukraine could have killed up to 50,000 dolphins in the Black Sea, according to a scientist.

Source: FRANCE 24 English/YouTube

A Ukrainian biologist and the head of the scientific department of the Tuzly Lagoons National Nature Park named Ivan Rusev reported this estimation of the number of dolphins that he believes have died since the Russian invasion.

While Rusev had previously believed that there were at least 5,000 dead dolphins, he now says that this number is much higher. Newsweek reported that Rusev said about 5 percent of the dead animals wash ashore while the rest sink to the bottom of the ocean.

“They are not available for detection and counting from the shore, so we estimate that during the Russian barbarians’ war against Ukraine, up to 50 thousand whale-like have already died, which is extremely terrible for the marine ecosystem,” Rusev said on Facebook.

This large number is thought to be due to the Russian ships and submarines in the waters. The noise pollution in the water can cause dolphins, as well as other marine life. Ships and submarines with low-frequency sonar can interfere with dolphins’ echolocation. Echolocation helps dolphins see by interpreting the echoes of sound waves that bounce off nearby objects in the water. To locate objects, dolphins produce high-frequency clicks, so the warships that are putting out low-frequency get in the way of the dolphin’s navigation system. The dolphins can become confused and disoriented and crash into rocks or even be unable to identify prey and therefore starve.

The noise pollution can also be harming fish populations which could be causing them to migrate away. This could be another reason for the dolphin deaths as they are at the top of the food chain in the Black Sea.

Source: The Economist/YouTube

The war is impacting the biodiversity of the Black Sea, and it will take a lot of time for an investigation into the losses in the area. This war has caused immeasurable pain to humans, animals, and ecosystems.

So many innocent lives have been lost, countless volunteers are helping to rescue animals all over the country, and many people are staying behind to help feed hundreds of refugees every day. The impact of the Russian invasion has been devastating for the environment and the global food supply and has even caused mass animal deaths like these dolphins in the Black Sea. Activists all around the world are standing for the people of Ukraine and demanding an end to this war.

Sign this petition to stand with Ukraine and check out 10 Ways to Help People and Animals in Ukraine!

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