Archive | September 18, 2020

Thousands of dead fish found in a river in Prince Edward Island, Canada #Fish #PrinceEdwardIsland #Canada

Fish Kill Alert

An investigation is underway after more than 2,000 dead brook trout were discovered this weekend in Prince Edward Island’s Montrose River.

The Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change says they received a call on Friday reporting a fish kill in Alma.

The fish kill covers from Marchbank pond to the Confederation Trail in Alma. Just over 2,000 dead Brook Trout were collected Friday and Saturday and a couple hundred more were not able to be collected.

No cause has been determined. Samples have been collected and sent for analysis. The incident remains under investigation.

This section of river has had three reported fish kills since 2010, occurring July 13, 2010, Aug. 18, 2017, and Aug. 28, 2020.

Clean up is complete and the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change is assessing the area to determine next steps to help the fish population recover.

Courtesy of


Thousands of chickens and emus to be killed due to Bird Flu in Victoria, Australia #Chickens #Emus #BirdFlu #Victoria #Australia

Bird Flu

Tens of thousands of chickens and an untold number of emus will be euthanased as Victoria battles multiple bird flu outbreaks.

A strain of the virus was first detected at a free-range egg farm in Lethbridge, north-west of Geelong, in late July.

As of this week, infected birds – including emus, turkeys and chickens – have been found in six poultry farms.

Agriculture Victoria says three different strains of the virus have been detected, meaning that the outbreaks are not all connected.

The biggest operation hit so far is ASX-listed company, Farm Pride.

The virus was first detected at one of its farms in the Golden Plains Shire earlier this month.

This week it was found in amongst the flock at a second farm in the same region.

The company had already destroyed more than 300,000 layer hens due to its first confirmed outbreak and will now have to cull another 40,000, meaning Farm Pride will lose a third of its entire flock.

In an announcement to the ASX yesterday, the company advised that the “full financial impact is still being determined and remains material”.

Losses of $18-$23 million were expected for the 2020-21 financial year.

“It is disappointing that despite the highest biosecurity levels and efforts of the farm management and Agriculture Victoria, this [second] site has now succumbed to the virus,” the ASX statement reads.

“This further outbreak has occurred despite strict monitoring and controls that have prohibited the movement of birds, equipment and products within and out of restrictions areas and this farm.”

The second outbreak detected this week is at an emu farm near Kerang, in the state’s north.

Agriculture Victoria said the emus were sick with a less severe and infectious strain than the one afflicting several of the chicken farms in the Goldens Plains Shire.

The emu farm is home to about 8,000 birds.

Victoria’s chief veterinary officer, Graeme Cooke, said at least some of those emus would have to be euthanased.

“We have had to move to depopulate part of the farm,” he said.

“There is some sort of cull — but at this point it is limited, and it’s too early to say about future actions.”

Courtesy of

17 dead dolphins wash up in Mauritius #Dolphins #Mauritius

Dolphin Alert

Photo Illustration

At least 17 dead dolphins washed up on Mauritius’ beaches Wednesday, raising questions about what effect the oil spilled from the Japanese cargo tanker MV Wakashio, which ran aground on July 25, is having on marine life surrounding the Indian Ocean island-nation, according to Reuters.

As thousands of tons of fuel spilled into the ocean, activists and scientists were quick to warn that an ecological disaster was in the making as the island’s unique coral species and fish would be threatened. Now, the death of a significant portion of a dolphin pod may be a signal of the cascading effects from the spill, according to the BBC.

While the fisheries ministry says the dolphins were killed by sharks, environmental campaigners are calling for a probe to find out if the deaths are connected to the spill.

“The dead dolphins had several wounds and blood around their jaws, no trace of oil however. The ones that survived, around ten, seemed very fatigued and could barely swim,” said Jasvin Sok Appadu from the fisheries ministry, as Reuters reported.

However, Greenpeace Africa finds the timing raises doubts.

“This is a deeply sad and alarming day for the people of Mauritius,” Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s senior climate and energy campaign manager, said in a statement on Wednesday, as Al-Jazeera reported. “Greenpeace appeals to the authorities to carry out a swift, transparent and public autopsy on the bodies collected.”

In a tweet, Greenpeace Africa said, “this incident must be investigated fully and transparently! If the oil spill was indeed the cause of this tragedy, then the polluters must be held accountable for the harm done to coastal communities and their #Biodiversity.”

Courtesy of

500 sheep killed by lightning in Nepal #Sheep #Lightning #Nepal


A massive thunderbolt in Nepal’s remote Jumla district on Sunday killed at least 500 sheep grazing in pastures high in the mountains, according to belated reports from the remote mountain region of northwestern Nepal.

The lightning struck during a monsoon storm on 23 August in Masimarema grazing land of Patrasi Rural Municipality and the sheep belonged to Bishnu Buda and Jaya Bahadur Buda of the Bagjalem Community Forest.

Because of the remoteness of the area, villagers have not been able to reach the site yet, said Ward Chair Kali Bahadur Rawat. The high pasture is the traditional grazing ground for the region’s livestock and dairy farmers during the monsoon months.

Jumla’s chief district administrator Tek Bahadur Budathapa said the lightning strike was a major blow to the villagers of Patrasi whose main source of income is their livestock, and the sheep were being readied for sale during the Dasain festival in October.

“The farmers were already hit by the economic crisis caused by the lockdown, and now this has happened, it is going to be difficult for them to survive and the government will do what it can to provide rehabilitation,” Budathapa said.

This is the second worst disaster to hit the district’s animal husbandry in recent years. In 2013, more than 700 sheep were killed in winter blizzards.

With nearly 900 human fatalities in the past ten years, lightning accounts for the highest number of deaths in natural disasters – second only to the 2015 earthquake. Nepal in fact tops the list of countries with the most lightning fatalities per unit area. More people die every year in electric storms in Nepal than in the whole of North America, according to statistics.

Every year, an average of 100 people are killed by thunderbolts, and meteorologists say freak electrical storms are also occurring during unusual times, such as early mornings. Studies have linked the increase in intensity and frequency of thunderstorms to climate change.

Nepal is also the most densely populated mountainous country in the world, and lighting in the mountains are also deadlier because the flashes have to travel less distance. Within Nepal, Makwanpur district south of Kathmandu has the highest death rate from lightning strike with 70 deaths in the past seven years. In the same period, Jumla only had three fatalities from lightning.

Courtesy of

100,000+ livestock dead due to snowstorms in Rio Negro, Argentina #Livestock #Snowstorms #RioNegro #Argentina

Livestock Alert

Intense snowstorms and frosts hit Patagonia amid one of the region’s worst winters in two decades, which has badly affected the agricultural sector. More than 100 000 livestock animals have perished, according to officials’ first estimate of losses, who also warned that herdsmen in the highlands may lose up to 70 percent of the flock. In early August, an agricultural disaster emergency was declared for the affected territories.

Officials conducted the first assessment of losses together with technicians from the Agriculture Technology Institute, covering highlands next to the cordillera.

“Anyhow, we are talking of at least 100 000 sheep and 5 000 cattle,” said provincial livestock secretariat Tabare Bassi this week.

Bassi further warned that the severe weather could cause the death of 70 percent of the flock in the high areas of the Patagonian Argentina’s Rio Negro Province.

Intense snowfall followed by frosts affected mostly small farmers with flocks no larger than 250 heads, “which makes it a serious survival challenge,” he said.

“We estimate that the worse losses are along the mountainous terrain between 1 000 and 1 300 m (3 280 to 4 260 feet) above sea level, while at sea level we can expect sheep mortality in the range of 30 percent.”

While snow in the lower lands will help renew pastures during spring, Bassi pointed out that the main concern is the small farmers in the highlands who make money out of wool and survive winter feeding on mutton.

“We will have to give them some sort of support.”

Rio Negro senator Alberto Weretilneck proposed an initiative requesting extensive economic aid for the affected farmers, “which is one of the conditions considered in the Sheep Farming Recovery Fund,” when there is an agriculture emergency as a result of severe weather conditions.

Weretilneck recalled that in early August, the province has declared an agriculture emergency, and it is urgent to enforce measures that will enable them to address the situation, which is forecast to worsen.

Patagonia has been gripped by one of its worst winters in the last 20 years, with Rio Negro among the worst affected provinces.

Courtesy of

Hundreds of cattle dead ‘due to cold weather’, ‘never seen this before’, in Mato Grosso, Brazil #Cattle #MatoGrosso #Brazil

Livestock Alert

The cold wave that hit Brazil this week advanced through the Midwest and caused damage to farms in Mato Grosso. According to reports by cattle ranchers in the cities of Reserva do Cabaçal and Salto do Céu, in the southwest of the state, the cold weather from Saturday to Sunday, 23, killed several Nellore cattle.

“These two cities, which are located in a higher region, there are reports of a thermal sensation at 0 ° C, something extremely unusual here in Mato Grosso. From what I heard, there were several cases registered in these two locations, ”said the president of the Rural Union of São José dos Quatro Marcos (MT), Alessandro Casado.

For the Nelore PO (Pure Origin) cattle breeder, Amauri Nazário Pinheiro, the morning was a shock at Fazenda Iruama, in Reserva Do Cabaçal. When he went out to see the animals, he found 12 lifeless and eight others lying down. “We found these animals dead because of the cold. Those who are still alive, we are applying medicine to see if it gets up, but it is certain that of these eight, at least four or five must die ”, he said.

According to the creator, the loss so far recorded is R $ 150 thousand.

According to him, the cases were widespread in the city. “In my neighbor next door, 27 cattle died of cold. In the other neighbor, there were 21 so far, in another property there were five and, in a farm closer to the road, two more. I believe that just because of these close cases, we had at least 100 animals that died of cold in the city, since many people don’t even know that they lost cattle, because there was never that here ”, he commented.

The rancher says that the animals that died were the youngest and were in the open. “On this property, we do not have forest near the pasture, except at the edge of the stream, where it is even colder. The animals that died were certainly exposed to wind and cold, something that never happened here. So much so, that on another property we have, the animals managed to take shelter in the forest and there was no case. ”

If the weather forecast indicates colder weather like this, Amauri informed that he intends to take the cattle to the property that has more protection from the winds. However, the forecast is for an increase in temperature and another cold like this should not happen anytime soon. “The sun is already coming out and it’s heating up right here. But if I have a cold like this again, I intend to take the animals to the other property or close in a corral, with canvas to protect during the night ”, he concluded.

“We’ve never seen this before”

The creator José Ginevaldo Vitório, from the Recanto das Águas farm, was also surprised by the death of five Nellore animals. On his farm, the herd of 350 cattle suffered from the sudden drop in temperature. “We’ve never seen that before. We lost five Nellore cows, but we had neighbors who were much more impacted. We had reports of a producer who has 50 to 60 animals in confinement, and who lost up to 20 animals ”, he said.

According to the rancher, in a radius of 20 kilometers from his property, at least 200 animals died from the cold, especially calves from two and a half to three years old. In addition to the herd animals, wild animals were found in the field. “The cold was so intense, that I found a porcupine, known as Luis Caxeiro, with no life in the field. Herons, birds and even bats also died ”, he concluded.

Courtesy of

Coronavirus: Israel becomes first country in the world to impose second national lockdown #COVID19 #coronavirus #Israel #pandemic #Lockdown

Coronavirus Alert

Israel has become the first country in the world to announce a second national coronavirus lockdown.

Responding to a soaring infection and death rate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the decision in a late night TV news conference.

The lockdown will last for three weeks and will come into effect at 2pm on Friday – coinciding with a major Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashana.

“I know these steps are a heavy price for us all,” Mr Netanyahu said.

“These are not the holidays we are used to. We certainly won’t be able to celebrate with our extended families.”

Responding to critical questions, he defended his leadership through the crisis saying: “If we keep the rules, and I am confident in this, we will defeat the virus. I see the vaccine on the way, and I see the fast testing that is on the way.”

Israel currently has one of the worst coronavirus infection rates in the world per capita, with 37,482 active cases.

Some 3,167 people tested positive on Sunday, a rise from 2,715 on Saturday. The country hit a record high of 519 patients in serious condition, of which 144 are intubated.

At least 1,119 people have died.

Israel is a small country with a population of just under nine million.

During the three-week period, all restaurants, shops and recreational facilities will be closed.

Schools will also be closed and the public will not be allowed more than 500m from their homes.

Supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential providers will be allowed to open and restaurants will be permitted to offer takeaway and delivery services.

The decision has caused significant political tension in an already highly dysfunctional coalition government. The cabinet meeting is reported to have lasted seven hours.

Mr Netanyahu faced scores of protesters as he arrived at the airport late on Sunday night for a flight to Washington DC, where he will sign diplomatic normalisation deals with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

He has faced growing calls to resign over recent weeks because of allegations of corruption and his handling of coronavirus.

Many ministers opposed another lockdown – some on religious grounds and others because of economic concerns.

Both the science minister and economy minister warned that the economic damage will be so severe the country may not recover.

Finance Minister Israel Katz blamed the health ministry for failures in containing the outbreak and warned of hundreds of thousands of job losses.

Another minister, Yucal Steinitz, said: “It is nice that you are raising the red flag now, when hospitals are getting full, but you had to raise that red flag a month or two ago.”

Tourism minister Asaf Zamir said: “A full closure of the entire country during the holidays is too extreme a step and has economic implications that entire industries will not recover from.”

Housing minister Ya’acov Litzman resigned before the cabinet meeting – opposing the lockdown on religious grounds. He argued that Mr Netanyahu lacked an appreciation for religious observance.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, the finance ministry is projecting a loss to the economy per week of 6.5bn shekels (£1.4bn) as a consequence of the nationwide lockdown.

A report by the Israel Coronavirus Information Centre, published on Sunday, said that the country’s hospitals were edging closer to maximum capacity – though doctors at some of the nation’s hospitals disputed this.

A series of Jewish holidays throughout September and October have raised concerns that the infection rate could rise further.

The second lockdown marks an extraordinary change in fortune for Israel.

At the start of the pandemic, the country was seen as a beacon of how to contain the virus.

The first strict lockdown was imposed early – people complied and it appeared to work.

However the lockdown was reduced as fast as it was imposed.

Few people wore masks properly and social distancing was almost entirely absent in a society where religion, culture and politics presented a perfect pandemic storm.

The government’s coronavirus commissioner, Ronni Gamzu, who has been calling for the lockdown for several weeks, warned last month: “The state of sickness in Israel is among the worst and most complicated in the world.”

In the West Bank, which is administered in part by the Palestinian Authority, there are 9,845 active cases. No lockdown decisions have been made.

In Gaza, administered by the Palestinian faction Hamas, there are 1,588 active cases and 15 deaths, which represents a exponential rise.

Courtesy of Sky News

MAGNITUDE 2.7 CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION #earthquake #CanaryIslands #Spain

Subject to change

Depth: 34 km

Distances: 203 km SW of La Laguna, Spain / pop: 150,000 / local time: 19:07:00.8 2020-09-18

29 km WSW of Valverde, Spain / pop: 5,000 / local time: 19:07:00.8 2020-09-18

MAGNITUDE 2.7 CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION #earthquake #CanaryIslands #Spain

Subject to change

Depth: 29 km

Distances: 202 km SW of La Laguna, Spain / pop: 150,000 / local time: 18:39:49.4 2020-09-18

29 km WSW of Valverde, Spain / pop: 5,000 / local time: 18:39:49.4 2020-09-18