Archive | January 2016


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 606 km NW of Honiara, Solomon Islands / pop: 56,298 / local time: 10:23:50.3 2016-02-01
420 km SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea / pop: 26,273 / local time: 09:23:50.3 2016-02-01
80 km SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea / pop: 2,916 / local time: 09:23:50.3 2016-02-01

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***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 31.01.16  22.58 hrs UTC


Subject To Change

Depth: 1 km

Distances: 43 km E of Vaduz, Liechtenstein / pop: 5,197 / local time: 23:43:58.9 2016-01-31
13 km W of Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria / pop: 2,848 / local time: 23:43:58.9 2016-01-31

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Large Die Off Of Fish, ‘NEVER SEEN BEFORE’ In Snake River, Washington, USA

Fish Kill Alert

A large die-off of an unglamorous fish have attracted rare visitors to a Snake River dam pool.
The demise of hundreds of American shad, described by wildlife officials “as the piscatorial Rodney Dangerfield” for the respect they don’t get, attracted huge numbers of birds to the Lower Snake River to dine on the dead and dying fish. Among them were gulls rarely, or never, seen in this area before.
Mike Denny, an avid birder and past president of the Blue Mountain Audubon Society, said he’s never seen anything like the numbers of dead fish as well as the flocks flying in to feast on them.
On a field trip to Lower Monumental Dam a few weeks ago, Denny said he and others observed flocks of gulls numbering in the thousands made up of least 10 different species. That number of different gull species “is unheard of in the interior of the Pacific Northwest,” he said.
Among the visitors was a slaty-backed gull, a bird native to Asia and not expected to be seen anywhere east of the Cascades. It’s appearance was the first recorded sighting of the bird in Eastern Washington, Denny said.
Two other “super rare” visitors were a group of lesser black-backed gulls, a Eurasian species, and a glaucous gull. The glaucous is normally found in the Arctic and is the largest gull in the world with a wingspan that can reach up to 64 inches, Denny said.
Other bird species snapping up the bounty of shad were flocks of great egrets, “the largest winter concentration we’ve ever seen on the Snake River,” Denny said.
There were also “loads” of mallards, common goldeneye ducks, great blue herons and double-crested cormorants.
Denny said fishermen he’s talked with began noticing the shad die-off in late November. He said he saw what appeared to be “thousands” of the fish in the area between Lower Monumental Dam and Ice Harbor Dam.
Jeremy Trump, a fish biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, confirmed there has been a die-off of shad and said it consisted mostly of juvenile fish. He said the exact cause has not been determined, however, it could have been weather and temperature related.
Denny also speculated the hot summer played a role, causing more of the juvenile shad to swim upriver seeking cooler water. As the seasons changed, the larger than normal population then exhausted its food supply, leading many to die of starvation.
That there was a larger number of shad in the river in 2015 is reflected in the fish counts recorded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Ice Harbor and Lower Granite dams.
At Ice Harbor Dam, watchers counted about 220,757 shad passing through the fish ladder during 2015 before the run ended in August. About 38 percent of that number, 84,833, made it up the Snake River, where they were recorded at Lower Granite Dam in Garfield County.
The 2015 numbers were far above totals recorded in previous years. In 2014, about 90,790 shad were counted at Ice Harbor, of which only 1,206 made it to Lower Granite, according to Corps records. The year before the numbers were 193,525 at Ice Harbor and 1,892 at Lower Granite.
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500+ camels have died from ‘mysterious disease’ in Marsabit, Kenya, Africa

Virus Alert

Herders in Marsabit County are counting loses following an outbreak of a mysterious disease that is killing camels.
Bubisa and Shuur in Marsabit North Sub-County are the worst hit by the calamity with ward representative Pius Yatani describing the situation as alarming.
“I received the report on January 19 on the deaths and so far more than 500 camels have perished. I believe the disease may have erupted earlier,’’ said Turbi-Bubisa Ward Rep.
Mr Yatani said he had appealed to the county government for urgent intervention.
He said a team of vets was already on the ground supplying vaccines donated by the county government to the pastoralists.
“The department of livestock has donated 20 dozen vaccines to help mitigate the crisis,” he said by telephone.
Speaking to the Nation by phone, Shuur Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance (Pacida) programme coordinator Wario Guyo, said the animals were dying in large numbers.
“They (camels) are in good body shape but they suddenly become weak before dying,’’ he said.
Marsabit County Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries executive James Aboran Dokhe said he was aware of the outbreak of the disease.
He said the disease was likely to have been spread from neighbouring Wajir where three weeks ago Wajir South MP Abdullahi Diriye raised the alarm over an unknown disease killing camels in the county.
Dr Dokhe said his department had responded to the emergency and had dispatched a team of experts to identify the mysterious disease.
“Once the tests are completed we will send the report to the University of Nairobi’s veterinary department of for analysis,’’ said the CEC
Mr Dokhe said the disease was likely to be Trypanosomiasis-protozoa.
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2.5 Million birds killed due to Avian Flu in 18 states of Nigeria

Bird Flu

Avian Influenza, popularly referred to as bird flu, is now in 18 states in Nigeria and has affected over 2.5 million chickens resulting in the loss of several billions of Naira, the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science has said.
Avian Influenza or bird flu is an infectious viral disease of birds. While most Avian Influenza viruses do not infect humans, a few others like A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) have caused serious infections in people.
NIAS, which is the regulatory agency of the Federal Government for the regulation of all matters pertaining to animal husbandry in Nigeria, on Friday stated that bird flu was spreading so fast and as such all adequate measures to stop the spread must be enforced.
Asked to state the number of birds affected by the disease, the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, NIAS, Dr. Godwin Oyedeji, said, “By the last count, I think as of yesterday (Thursday), not less than 2.5 million chickens have been infected and over 700 farms have been affected nationwide. From one incidence in one state and moving to two states, it has increased and I think by now we are having it in not less than 18 states.”
Oyedeji, who spoke during a press briefing in Abuja, added, “In the Kuje area, here in the Federal Capital Territory, over 900,000 birds have been affected. This should not continue, and it is because things that should be done are not being done.
“If we cannot prevent wild birds that carry the influenza from overflying Nigeria and if the virus has come into Nigeria, then we can prevent, through good animal husbandry practices, the spread from one farm to the other.”
He noted that something was wrong somewhere, adding that the institute had gone to the field to ascertain what was not being done right by poultry farmers.
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22,000+ sea birds found dead, ‘biggest die off ever recorded’, along beaches in Alaska, USA

Photo By David Irons / USFWS
The mass of dead seabirds that have washed up on Alaska beaches in past months is unprecedented in size, scope and duration, a federal biologist said at an Anchorage science conference.
The staggering die-off of common murres, the iconic Pacific seabirds sometimes likened to flying penguins, is a signal that something is awry in the Gulf of Alaska, said Heather Renner, supervisory wildlife biologist at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
“We are in the midst of perhaps the largest murre die-off ever recorded,” Renner told the Alaska Marine Science Symposium on Thursday. While there have been big die-offs of murres and other seabirds in the past, recorded since the 1800s, this one dwarfs most of them, Renner said.
 “This event is almost certainly larger than the murres killed in the Exxon Valdez oil spill,” she said.
After that spill — at the time, the nation’s largest — about 22,000 dead murres were recovered by crews conducting extensive beach searches in the four months after the tanker grounding, according to the Exxon Valdez Trustee Council, the federal-state panel that administers funds paid to settle spill-related claims for natural-resource damages. 
Now, hundreds and thousands of dead murres are turning up on a wide variety of Alaska beaches, including nearly 8,000 discovered this month on a mile-long stretch in Whittier, she said. A preliminary survey in Prince William Sound has already turned up more than 22,000 dead murres there, she said. Starving, dying and dead murres are showing up far from their marine habitat, in inland places as distant as Fairbanks, hundreds of miles from the Gulf of Alaska coast, making the die-off exceptionally large in geographic scale.
Even if she weren’t an expert, the bird die-off would be obvious to Renner. She lives in Homer, where the beaches are “littered” with murre carcasses, she said.
“You can’t walk more than a few feet without finding murres,” she said.
Since only a small proportion of those killed ever show up as carcasses on the shore — past studies put that proportion at 15 percent — the actual death toll is likely much higher, Renner said.
The murre die-off began last spring, making it an especially long-lasting event. It coincides with widespread deaths of other marine animals, from whales in the Gulf of Alaska to sea lions in California. The die-off is overwhelmingly affecting common murres rather than thick-billed murres, which are closely related but tend to use slightly more western and northwestern waters from the Aleutians to the Chukchi Sea.
The immediate cause of the bird deaths is starvation.
“They just simply aren’t able to find the food that they need to survive,” Renner said. Necropsies conducted by the National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin found the dead murres were emaciated, with no food in their gastrointestinal systems and no fat on their bodies.
But what’s behind the starvation?
Renner said biologists are focusing on three potential culprits that may be working independently or in concert with one another. And a common thread is heat, likely related to the “Blob” of warm water that persisted in 2014 and 2015 in the North Pacific and pushed temperatures as much as 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal.
“Warm water is implicated,” she said.
Warmer waters might have affected murre food supplies or altered the birds’ food needs by changing their metabolism, she said. Many past die-offs have been associated with warm waters, supporting the argument that the Blob is to blame, she said. The investigation is complicated because biologists have unanswered questions about the winter diet of murres, birds famous for their deep dives to forage for fish in summer.
“We know a lot more about what they eat in the summer than what they eat in the winter,” Renner said.
Another suspect is a series of strong storms that might have scattered already stressed birds this winter, she said.
A third suspect is harmful algal blooms, which proliferate in warm waters and have been connected to some other marine animals’ deaths.
So far, toxins associated with such algal blooms have not been found in dead murres examined by the National Wildlife Health Center. But it is possible that the signs of the toxins would have vanished long before the tests, even if they killed the birds, because the toxins don’t linger in body tissue and instead are generally found in food in animals’ digestive systems — something missing from these murres’ carcasses.
Renner said she is not yet worried about the die-off threatening Alaska’s overall common murre population, roughly estimated at 2.8 million.
Still, troubling signs warrant monitoring in the future.
A breeding colony in the Barren Islands that is usually teeming in late summer with adult murres tending their young was deserted this year, she said. The site, at East Amatuli Island, usually has nesting birds crowded into the cracks of the rock face, but this year, “nobody was home,” Renner said. “In more than three decades of monitoring murres in the Barrens, we’ve never had complete reproduction failure before.” Similar failures occurred at some other nesting colonies, though not at all, she said.
Common murres and whales — which are the subject of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration investigation after several were found dead this summer — are not the only Gulf of Alaska marine animals to fall victim to ailments believed to be related to warm waters in 2014 and 2015.
Tammy Hoem Neher, a NOAA scientist working with the multiagency program Gulf Watch Alaska, listed a wide range of changes in the marine systems observed during the period of unusual warmth.
Kachemak Bay saw an eight-fold increase in sea otter deaths, with carcasses showing signs of toxins produced by harmful algal blooms, Neher said at the symposium. Sea stars in Kachemak Bay in 2015 were found stricken with a wasting disease similar to that which has killed large numbers of the animals elsewhere on the U.S. West Coast, she said. One hypothesis is that the unusually warm waters exacerbated other stresses on the sea stars, she said.
But at least one Gulf of Alaska marine population thrived in the new conditions, Neher said. Fish-eating resident killer whales have feasted on big runs of salmon, fattening up without having to swim very far, she said.
“They kind of lazed around day to day,” she said.
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Hundreds of sea birds found dead on a beach on Sea of Galilee, Israel

Hundreds of seagulls have been found dead on the Sea of Galilee’s western shore, with an initial inquiry pointing to botulism poisoning.
Another 78 injured birds were given emergency first aid at the Tel Afeq National Park veterinary hospital’s quarantine station in Tel Aviv, with some being tested to eliminate any suspicion that they may have contracted bird flu, the Walla website reported Thursday.
The gulls were subsequently transferred to the wild animal hospital at the Ramat Gan Safari, some of them in serious condition.
Botulism spores are commonly found in soil and water. They produce the botulinum toxin in conditions such as low oxygen and hot temperatures.
“It’s not a sight that we are used to,” a spokesperson for the Safari said. There had been cases of 15 animals needing treatment, but 80 in one go was “a real mass attack.”
The treatment would continue for several days in the hope that the gulls could be returned to nature as quickly as possible, the Safari added.
Dr. Roni King, chief veterinarian for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, said botulism poisoning was a known phenomenon. There had been cases in the US of hundreds of thousands of dead birds being found in lakes.
Less than two months ago in Israel, a smaller number of gulls sustained poisoning in the Hadera area of the Mediterranean coast.
A few years ago, 150 birds were picked up from the beach between Acre and the Krayot, north of Haifa, of which only 50 survived.
In the current case, the poison was not from the Sea of Galilee, King said. The birds probably picked it up at their feeding site, only feeling the effects when they flew back to the lake.
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8,900+ Buffalo and cows killed by cold in Northern Vietnam

Livestock Alert

According to data of the Department of livestock (Ministry of agriculture and rural development) updated to 17 hour days 28/1, medium bold, damaging frosts have made the cattle 8913 in the mountains of the North and North-Central death. 
Specifically, the Son La is the number of local cattle damage with 2756 children; 09. child 982; Quảng Ninh 841 children; Lao Cai 679.
To strengthen prevention, remedial and recovery livestock development after disaster, livestock Bureau recommended the Department of agriculture and rural development of the province, affected cities to focus on directing and applied to malaria malaria prevention, harm, to minimize the extent of the damage for the livestock sector; election missions go direct, guide, inspect, urge the prevention, combating hunger, malaria and relocate to places where pets stay insulate. 
Besides, the local direction of the specialized agencies, check, farmers guide updated happenings of local weather, timely and regular information on the mass media to farmers know, not subjective and passive.
Department of livestock suggest actively use local backup budget to timely serve the prevention, malaria prevention and malaria, bold remedial after wet weather; the direction of local government is responsible for the full statistics of the number of livestock, poultry, aquatic products and damage done in time for the production of prescribed to restore production of the disaster.
Department of livestock also asked the local focus guide farmers exploit, take full advantage of available food resources in place to provide enough food for cattle in the wet weather; restricted cattle leash on malaria especially in these bold, medium, advanced to controlled breeding; make detoxification disinfecting, the risk of disease outbreaks may simultaneously recommend that after people harm malaria malaria, bold about the risk the disease could break out in due time the medium decreases the resistance to disease of cattle.
In addition, the required local livestock recovery plan after malaria, malaria; There are plans to offer the same, manufacturing, food, cages, supplies reinforced the vet … for farmers to livestock development and recovery after disasters.
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