Archive | October 2016

1,000+ ducks killed due to avian flu in Alappuzha, India

Bird Flu
Over 1,000 ducks affected by avian influenza were culled by official teams constituted by the government in various parts of the district on Wednesday. The operations will continue on Thursday, according to officials of the Animal Husbandry Department.
Special teams deputed in Thakazhy, Cheruthana, and Muttom grama panchayats conducted surveys at the locations where ducks were affected by the disease. As many as 1,167 ducks affected by the disease-causing virus were culled at various places, according to a senior official of the department. Six hundred ducks were culled at Muttom and 396 ducks at Thakazhy. As many as 180 ducks infected by the virus were killed at Cheruthana. The culling operations could not be carried out at Kainadi in Neelamperoor. It would be done on Thursday, the official said.
The presence of the virus was confirmed only on Monday evening after receiving a report from the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal. Official teams swung into action the very next day after a meeting was convened by District Collector Veena N. Madhavan. Twenty special teams consisting of officials from the Animal Husbandry Department, besides Revenue and police and representatives of local bodies were formed for the purpose of identifying the virus-infected ducks and to execute the culling operations.
The H5N8 virus found in Alappuzha are of lesser severity in comparison to several other strains. The H5N2 virus which hit the poultry sector in the district in 2014 was much more dangerous, according to officials.
The strategy of the official team this time is to destroy the ones affected by the virus and isolate the others so that en masse culling is not required.
Courtesy of

Hundreds of dead sea birds found on a beach in Araucania, Chile

The sad fact has shocked people living in the area, who noted having found hundreds of dead birds on the shores of the Nigue South Beach, in the commune of Toltén, an area of 2 km of beach with dead seabirds.
According to Guillermo Martínez Soto, Mayor of Toltén, the fact was informed to Onemi, Sernapesca and Sag, investigate and they can clarify this phenomenon that caused the death of these seabirds.
Martinez also stated that it is not a new phenomenon as that on other occasions, there have been other varazones of birds such as penguins. “In this case what is observed is that they are birds of the species sardelas, at other times also been stranded.”
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2,000 dead fish found washed up on a beach in Praia do forte, Brazil

Fish Kill Alert
About 2 000 dead fish were found in the sands of Praia do Forte in the Lakes Region of Rio, on Monday (25). The State Environmental Institute (INEA) was in place during the afternoon and found that it is probably disposal made by fishing boats. According to INEA, fish discarded are the Perua and pufferfish species that have low commercial value. Also according to the institute, the discard hypothesis was confirmed by swimmers and locals, who saw commercial fishing boats at dawn. Removal of fish shall be made by the municipal collection service. The G1 contacted the Cabo Frio City Hall but has not received information about the collection.
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Mass die off of mussels along 50 miles of Big Darby Creek in Ohio, USA

Whatever is killing fragile mussels in Big Darby Creek has spread along 50 miles of the protected waterway, and state and federal environmental officials say they are no closer to figuring out the cause after several weeks.
Biologists, mollusk experts and officials with state and federal agencies gathered Oct. 20 to talk about the mysterious die-off. They’ve been surveying the stream and collecting samples, but say it could be weeks before a cause is pinpointed.
In the meantime, the mollusks continue to die, leaving their empty shells strewn along the stream.
“This is one of the few last healthy rivers in America. If we lose that we’re losing a key piece of our heritage,” said John Tetzloff, president of the Darby Creek Association. “Mussels have been in decline for decades. … It was a recipe for disaster and this is the disaster. This could be the end of Darby as we know it.”
Mussels are immobile filter-feeders and are highly sensitive to environmental changes. That makes them “canaries in the coal mine” for various ecosystems tied to the Darby, Tetzloff said.
“When you start to see mussel die-offs, you might not see other impacts,” he said, “but they’re just the first one.”
Burrowed into the stream bed and sealed as tight as drums, mussels are among the hidden aquatic wildlife. But dozens and dozens of dying or dead mussels have surfaced along miles of the Darby since early October, said Anthony Sasson, freshwater conservation manager for the Nature Conservancy in Ohio.
At least two federally endangered mussel species, the clubshell and northern riffleshell, have been affected, said Jo Ann Banda of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“We don’t know what the issue is,” Banda said. “We really don’t know what’s happening.”
In other words, no one knows if it is disease, a spill of some sort or diminishing overall water quality.
“It’s still a mystery at this point,” said John Watts, a resource manager with Metro Parks.
This week, Sasson waded in the creek and found dead mussels with every step.
“I believe they’re still dying,” Banda said, adding that she has not witnessed similar mussel die-offs since she joined the agency in 2010. “It’s unusual.”
A major hit to the 44 recorded mussel species in Darby Creek could undo decades of conservation efforts.
The Big Darby, which empties into the Scioto River in Pickaway County, is a designated National Scenic River and considered one of the most biodiverse streams in the region, according to the Nature Conservancy. The creek is protected by state regulations and numerous local ordinances.
“If this hits the rare species, then that’s one more thing against them,” Sasson said.
Tom Watters, a mollusk curator at Ohio State University, said die-offs such as this are rare.
In July 2000, an agribusiness spilled 20,000 gallons of fermented grain, molasses and other substances into the upper Big Darby Creek, killing 24,000 fish. In the mid-1980s, 89,000 animals were killed following an ammonia and liquid fertilizer spill by a Mechanicsburg agribusiness.
Though endangered mussel populations have declined in recent state history, efforts in the past decade have helped reintroduce them in some waterways, Watters said. Biologists recently transplanted federally endangered mussel species into the Darby, including thousands of riffleshells from the Allegheny River in western Pennsylvania.
Tetzloff said he hasn’t had the heart to survey the damage.
“There are not rivers around the world that have 44 species of mussels in it,” he said. ” Tropical countries have their rain forests. Australia has its coral reefs. The United States has its warm-water streams.”
Courtesy of

10 TONS of fish die in the river Jucu in Brazil

Peixes mortos na foz do Rio Jucu (Foto: Reprodução/ TV Gazeta)
Dead fish in the mouth of the Rio Jucu (Photo: Reproduction / TV Gazeta)
10 tons the amount of dead fish in the mouth of the Rio Jucu, in Vila Velha, Vitória, on Wednesday (26). Residents say the killings began last Saturday (22). The problem is caused by the low volume of water and the river oxygen.
The result of water analysis should be ready later on Wednesday and the Old Town City Hall said it will send a team to remove the dead fish and reopen the mouth of the Rio Jucu.
“This generation of fish came to the spawning season. They came to play. So what happened? This whole generation of fish is dead. We’ll have to wait for the river to improve, so that other relationship between fish to spawn. The trend is that the fish go away for at least about three, four years of the mouth of the river, “said the environmentalist Eduardo Pignaton.
In addition to the sewage problems, pollution and low level of the river, the dead fish start now invading the mangroves.
“It was important that the city and the state government came to collect those fish that are killed, to prevent the population eat this stuff. The risk of intestinal infection is too great. We do not know exactly what’s in these fish, “said Pignaton.
Analysts at IEMA, the State Water Resources and the Old Village Municipal Environment Agency were in place to test and evaluate the possible causes of fish death.
Courtesy of

Mass die off of sunflower starfish along the coast of British Columbia, Canada

There was once a galaxy of sunflower seastars in the Salish Sea off the British Columbia and Washington state coasts, but a new study says their near disappearance from the ocean floor should be of special concern.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, say a wasting disease that impacted many starfish from Alaska to Mexico was devastating for the sunflower sea star.
Joseph Gaydos, one of the report’s authors and the chief scientist with the SeaDoc Society, said the sunflower that covered the ocean floor in many areas off southern Vancouver Island and Washington state has been virtually wiped out.
“We’re really concerned that one could completely disappear,” he said in an interview.
The West Coast is renowned for its 28 varieties of seastars, some not found anywhere else in the world. In 2013, divers and researchers started noticing the starfish were dying from a disease that experts couldn’t figure out.
Three years later, they believe a virus is at fault, but Gaydos said there may also be other factors such as water temperature that makes certain starfish more susceptible.
The study, which was released Wednesday on the online science journal PLOS ONE, says the virus is the largest such disease epidemic affecting multiple species of marine organisms in the world.
Gaydos said it’s like a canine distemper virus that tears through the Serengeti region of Africa, killing everything from lions to jackals.
“There are some diseases out there that affect multiple different species, but we haven’t really found one in the marine environment that has had this much impact.”
But the die-off of the sunflower, a tire-sized, multi-legged, colourful orange or purple starfish, could have other implications, Gaydos said.
“They’re major predators, they eat almost anything they can get a hold of, everything from urchins to mussels, to other seastars and they’ll even scavenge. I saw a picture from a diver where one was eating a bird that had died.”
Researchers saw evidence of increases in red and green urchins, which feed on kelp, Gaydos said.
“Kelp is like a forest, creating a matrix for all the other species to live in, an ecosystem engineer.”
He said scientists have been in discussions with the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to have the sunflower listed as a species of concern, an informal term referring to a species that may be in need of conservation.
The next step after that is to speak with the Canadian government, he said.
The researchers don’t know why the sunflower was especially susceptible to the wasting disease while others, such as the leather seastar, seem to be thriving.
Gaydos said it could be the species’ high volume at the start of the disease that contributed to the die-off. The sunflowers were once so plentiful in the area they were piled on top of one another and covered entire areas.
“That can contribute to stress, it can also contribute to ease of transmission.”
Courtesy of

100 sea birds found dead on the beach Cocholgüe Tome in Biobio, Chile

Caused impact on tourists from the commune of Tomé, Bio Bio region, the presence of 100 dead birds on the beach Cocholgüe the day on Saturday.
Lt. harbormaster Lirquén, Ricardo Cartes, explained that trawling would be the cause of the event.
SAG staff and Sernapesca worked on the removal of birds.
According to the official, this Sunday an autopsy on one of the birds will be performed to determine the cause of death.
Recall that the same situation was repeated last year in the area of San Vicente in Talcahuano.
Courtesy of

Tens of thousands of dead fish wash up on a river in Louisiana, USA

Fish Kill Alert
Officials say a cold front is responsible for tens of thousands of dead fish washing up along the banks of the False River in Louisiana.
A biologist with Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Brian Heimann, tells CBS affiliate WAFB that a cold front came through the area this week and caused the shallower areas of the lake to lose oxygen.
“When you have a front roll through, it can pull the bad water up to the surface. Threadfin Chad swim in open water and are tender. They are typically the first ones to succumb to it,” Heimann said.
Video from WAFB shows the lifeless fish drifting in the water along the river bank and under boat docks.
The vast majority of the dead fish were Threadfin Chad. Heimann says the False River is overpopulated with the species, and officials are already working to control the fish.
“This is just nature’s way of taking care of it,” Heimann said.
There’s no word on who’s going to clean up the mess.
Courtesy of

10,000+ frogs have died in Lake Titicaca, Peru

The baggy-skinned frogs absorb oxygen, and environmental contaminants through their skin.
Credit: Courtesy of the Denver Zoo
More than 10,000 endangered frogs and other water-dwelling animals living near a lake in South America were found mysteriously dead this month, according to reports from Peru’s wildlife and forestry service Serfor, leaving many people to wonder what could have caused this bizarre die-off.
The Titicaca water frog (Telmatobius culeus), also known as the “scrotum frog” for its loose skin, is one of the most critically endangered frogs in the world. The large, entirely aquatic frog adapted to the high altitudes of Lake Titicaca, which flows along the border between Bolivia and Peru, by taking in oxygen through its skin folds. This evolutionary adaptation also makes the frog highly sensitive to changes in its habitat, such as environmental contamination, according to Tom Weaver, curator of reptiles and fish at the Denver Zoo.
Researchers are currently investigating the latest massive die-off, which they think may have been caused by some sort of contamination. In 2014, an algae bloom that removed oxygen from the water, killed a number of frogs and fish, Weaver said.
“We’re collecting more samples to find out what’s causing this, because it could potentially be a disease outbreak or a contamination outbreak,” Weaver told Live Science. “When you have an estimated 10,000 frogs die off, then it’s usually a contamination of some sort.”
The Denver Zoo has been involved in an effort to save the Titicaca water frog for nearly a decade. Researchers at the zoo have previously worked with authorities in South America when such large die-offs occur, and are again collaborating in research on the current die-off.
Weaver said the Denver Zoo team doesn’t hear about every incident but that these die-offs are occurring more often, which suggests that the lake and surrounding rivers are perhaps being impacted by infrastructure development and contamination in the area.
“This is not something that happened just yesterday,” Weaver said of the die-off at Lake Titicaca. “It’s been going on for a while and is probably still going on right now. Everything else is dying in the lake — the fish — and it’s affecting the whole chain — the whole ecosystem.” [Photos: America’s Only Lake Titicaca Frogs]
The rainy season has begun in the area, and Weaver said this may have triggered the movement of contaminants, such as human sewage and heavy metal pollution, toward the lake. He noted that locals say more amphibian and fish deaths occur during the rainy season.
In a blog post, Roberto Elias, Peru field program manager for the Denver Zoo, wrote about the infrastructure and waste that has contaminated the water and may have led to the frogs’ deaths. Many of the deaths were noted along the Coata River, a tributary of Lake Titicaca. This river serves as a water source for several villages in the region, but it is also used as “landfill” by local people, according to Elias. 
“In the past, there have been complaints due to high pollution” including solid waste seen along the river, Elias wrote in the post. “This can be harmful to human and animal health, and is seen to a greater degree in species more susceptible such as fish and amphibians.”
For the Titicaca water frog, these incidents are incredibly harmful because the amphibian is considered “critically endangered” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, which assesses species’ conservation status. Over 15 years, more than 80 percent of the Titicaca water frog population has disappeared due to overexploitation, habitat degradation and invasive species, the IUCN said.
“It’s devastating; the species is already struggling to begin with, and this is a bigger hit to it,” Weaver said. “Whether or not the populations come back in these areas is yet to be seen.”
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 231 km NE of Andorra la Vella, Andorra / pop: 20,500 / local time: 23:25:27.3 2016-10-31
84 km NW of Montpellier, France / pop: 249,000 / local time: 23:25:27.3 2016-10-31
43 km SW of Mende, France / pop: 14,900 / local time: 23:25:27.3 2016-10-31
16 km NE of Creissels, France / pop: 1,600 / local time: 23:25:27.3 2016-10-31

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