A black howler monkey resting on a branch with an overlaid image of a thermometer showing high temperatures to indicate a heatwave condition.

Apocalyptic Heatwave Decimates Howler Monkey Population

Mexico has been experiencing a severe heatwave over the past week, causing widespread devastation to the country's plant and animal life. Notably, howler monkeys in the regions of Tabasco and Chiapas are succumbing to dehydration. The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Usumacinta Biodiversity Conservation A.C. (COBIUS) has reported a mass death of these primates, citing extreme temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius as the cause.

COBIUS has issued an urgent plea to the public to avoid touching the deceased monkeys and to promptly alert the authorities. They also suggest providing water to monkeys that seem weak or affected by the heat, using a rope to maintain a safe distance. If you encounter dead monkeys, you should immediately inform the authorities or COBIUS. If you observe monkeys that appear to be suffering from the heat or dehydration, you can help by raising a bucket of water with a rope for them to drink.

In response to this crisis, COBIUS has formed a committee in partnership with other NGOs and universities across Mexico. They have collectively called for the intervention of relevant authorities, including SEMAHN, SEMARNAT, PROFEPA, the Secretariat of Welfare Sustainability and Climate Change, and SENASICA. They urge these bodies to declare an emergency and take immediate action.

The bodies of the monkeys started appearing last Monday in the areas of Comalcalco and Chontalpa in Tabasco, and in the municipalities of Juarez and Pichucalco in Chiapas. To date, the Federal Attorney's Office for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) has not carried out the necessary investigations to identify the specific causes of the deaths. The state's Civil Protection reported on Tuesday that at least 17 monkeys have died. Additionally, deaths and heat strokes have been reported among the region's native bird population…

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Immediate action is crucial to protect these primates and to reduce the devastating impact of the heatwave on their population.