Archive | Pelicans RSS for this section

Bird flu caused deaths of 750 pelicans at Senegal bird sanctuary

Bird flu killed at least 750 pelicans found dead in Senegal’s Djoudj bird sanctuary, after authorities had initially ruled out the disease, scientific analysis has shown.

The birds – 740 juveniles and 10 adults – were discovered in the Djoudj national bird sanctuary on 23 January, and the country’s environment ministry said on Wednesday it had been closed to the public.

Now “we have the results of the analysis. It is indeed bird flu type A H5N1,” national parks director, Bocar Thiam, told Agence France-Presse.

The environment minister, Karim Sall, confirmed the bird flu diagnosis to RFM radio.

A mixture of wetlands, savannah, canals, marshes and lakes nestled in the Senegal river delta, Djoudj harbours more than 3m individual birds from almost 400 species.

Thiam had initially ruled out bird flu, claiming that it only affected birds that eat grains, rather than fish-eating birds like pelicans.

But the analysis by the ministry of livestock disproved that theory.

While the pelicans’ bodies and waste have been destroyed, parks chief Thiam said on Friday that “we’ll have to do more” to prevent the disease from spreading.

At the start of the year, Senegal culled more than 40,000 poultry after an outbreak of bird flu was detected on a farm in Thies in the west of the country.

Almost 60,000 birds had died in the preceding weeks, the livestock ministry said.

Authorities now believe that cluster has been stamped out.

Senegal’s borders have been closed to poultry products since a 2005 bird flu epidemic to prevent contaminations, but the government struggles to prevent illicit imports from neighbouring countries.

Several European countries are also suffering bird flu outbreaks, with 2m animals – mostly ducks – culled in France in December to try and keep it in check.

Courtesy of

Dozens of birds found dead on the coast of Safi, Morocco

Pélicans morts

© Copyright : DR

Some speak of the effects of the pollution plaguing the city. Others advance the thesis of a contagious disease. But the fact is that dozens of pelicans were found dead on the beaches and maritime rocks of the city of Safi, tells us Al Akhbar in its edition of Friday, November 1.

These pelicans are migratory birds which have the habit of following the coast of Safi during major seasonal changes. Each winter, they leave the countries of northern Europe for milder climates, especially near the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

At Lalla Fatna beach, which is 12 kilometers north of Safi, dozens of dead birds have been discovered. Ditto in many places on the neighboring coast. Local authorities are slow to respond. Providing no reason for these deaths, they leave these dead creatures in the wild for the time being. The health authorities did not react either.

Meanwhile, the rumor is rife. And some point to the high level of pollution in the city and the dumping of a lot of waste into the open sea. Feeding on fish, these birds would probably have been poisoned, according to local civil society actors.

Courtesy of

Hundreds of dead #birds, #fish, #dolphins and sea #turtles found on #GalvestonBeach, #Texas, #USA

Fish Kill Alert

Volunteers in southern Texas are trying to figure out why hundreds of birds, fish, dolphins and sea turtles have been found dead on a Galveston beach, the Galveston County Daily News reported.

One volunteer found more than 100 dead fish while walking on the beach Wednesday, KVUE reported.

Volunteers also reported 50 dead pelicans in one day, according to Theresa Morris, Gulf program coordinator with the Turtle Island Restoration Network.Morris said the large amount of carcasses could have something to do with the chemical fire in Deer Park in March, KSAT reported. The fire caused thick, black smoke to fill the air, while pollutants leaked into the air and waterways, the television station reported.Biologists took water samples Wednesday, KVUE reported.

Courtesy of

Dead Pelicans, Turtles and ‘countless fish’ wash up in a lagoon near Sydney, Australia

The mysterious deaths of pelicans, turtles and countless fish have alarmed residents north of Sydney who are now demanding action.
The dead and dying creatures have been found around Bushells Lagoon, near Wilberforce northwest of Sydney. The rotting carcasses are also creating an awful odour.
Concerned resident John Varley said one of the biggest wetlands on the Hawkesbury River is now in a “distressing state”.
Most put it down to a combination of unusually high water temperatures, and pollution.
Xuela Sledge of Greater Sydney Landcare said the water quality has been decreasing continually over the past four or five months.
“The smaller amount of dilution of any chemicals in the water is certainly going to have an impact on the wildlife in the lagoon,” Ms Sledge said.
The devastation of aquatic life includes pelicans, native eels, water hens and turtles has worsened in the last week.
Whatever the cause is, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawkesbury council have yet to take responsibility. Locals say both organisations need to come to a mutual understanding before more aquatic life is wiped out.
Locals say they can’t win though. Even once the water returns so will the carp – an unwanted pest in the region.
Courtesy of

Die off of sea birds along the coast of Florida, USA

Photo By Dial Steven
Pelicans and other species of aquatic birds are reportedly dying off from the coast near Amelia Island all the way south to Ponte Vedra Beach, sea life researchers say.
Researchers with the Florida Sea Grant Extension of Northeast Florida, a part of the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Program based in Flagler County, say ospreys, pelicans, gulls, and anhingas are a part of this die-off.
These birds appear to become disoriented, the researchers say, and somehow find themselves far from the ocean and their habitats. Their feathers become dry, brittle, bleached and lack proper waterproofing. Some can even be seen bleeding from the mouth.
The majority of the sick birds are near the mouth of the St. Johns River, researchers say. Possibly related is a rainbow-colored sheen atop sea form at the beach of Little Talbot. Sick pelicans have also been spotted in the lake at the Guana Wildlife Management area.
Veterinarians with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have collected the carcasses of some of the birds and are testing them to find out more information.
Sea Grant Extension researchers say if you see find dead birds, report them to the Florida Fish and Wildlife bird mortality database at this link. Don’t touch them.
If you see any sick birds that sound like the ones in this report, email Anna Deyle, NE assistant regional species conservation biologist at this address. If you can, include photos but don’t touch the birds.
Courtesy of

Dozens of pelicans are dying in Riviera Bay, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Dead pelicans have been turning up in Riviera Bay and Coffee Pot Bayou since Wednesday, and experts are still investigating the cause.
“It’s awful, it is,” said Eddie Gayton of the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary.
Dead birds have been turning up since Wednesday. The sanctuary is caring for 14 pelicans that are still alive but lethargic and paralyzed, he said. They appear to have been poisoned by something, but by what is the mystery. Another 22 died, he said, along with an egret that may or may not be part of the pelican die-off.
And other wildlife rehabilitation facilities have taken in sick pelicans as well, said Barbara Walker of the Clearwater Audubon Society.
“Nobody has a total,” she said. “We don’t have a good protocol here (for dealing with sick birds). And these birds are all being treated different at different facilities.”
There are no lack of suspects. The wave of sickness and death may be connected to an ongoing Red Tide algae bloom, although some bird advocates fear what’s going on could be linked to the city’s massive dump of sewage into Tampa Bay during last year’s storms.
However, the brackish Riviera Bay doesn’t directly connect to Tampa Bay, with Weedon Island lying in between. As a result, Gayton questions the theory of sewage dumping being the culprit. Walker said the birds could have picked up their illness elsewhere and then flown to Riviera Bay.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists and St. Petersburg crews have taken water samples as part of an investigation of the die-off. The biologists have also sent three dead pelicans to a laboratory to determine what killed them, said Michelle Kerr of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. She said results might be available in two weeks.
In the meantime, the sanctuary is treating the sick birds with fluids and a charcoal solution that helps remove toxins, Gayton said.
For the ones that are paralyzed, “We’re keeping their heads propped up so they don’t sustain an eye injury,” he said. A pelican with a damaged eye cannot fly or catch fish.
Gayton said the sanctuary received its first call about dead birds on Wednesday from Riviera Bay, a subdivision near Weedon Island. He said the lake regularly suffers from a thermal inversion condition that kills thousands of fish, but longtime residents told him it’s the first time they’ve seen birds die too.
“My hope is that the pelicans found in Coffee Pot Bayou got sick at Riviera Bay and then swam or flew over there and died,” Gayton said. If not, then something in the bayou may be sickening the birds too.
The survivors are showing symptoms that could match a diagnosis of poisoning by Red Tide, he said. Red Tide has stunk up Florida’s beaches for centuries. Spanish explorers recorded blooms when they visited in the 1500s.
Small, scattered colonies of the microscopic algae Karenia brevis — named for retired St. Petersburg biologist Karen Steidinger, who spent decades studying it — live in the Gulf of Mexico all year long. Usually they cause no problems.
But every now and then, the algae population offshore explodes into something called a bloom in which the algae multiplies rapidly and spreads. The expanding bloom stains the water a rusty color that gives the creature its name.
No one knows what causes the bloom to begin offshore, and no one knows what causes it to end.
The big blooms release toxins that are deadly to marine creatures. A bloom along the Southwest Florida coast in 2013 killed 200 manatees.
Those blooms can last for months, fueled sometimes by nitrate pollution flowing from overfertilized yards, leaky septic tanks and other sources, including the sewage dumped by cities.
Last year Hurricane Hermine, along with earlier summer storms, overwhelmed the sewage treatment plants in St. Petersburg, Gulfport and other Pinellas cities, leading them to dump tens of millions of gallons of sewage into both the Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay. Just this weekend, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman contended that the sewage did not harm the environment.
So far, the die-off hasn’t approached the level of the one that plagued the Indian River Lagoon on the state’s Atlantic coast between 2012 and 2013. During that time, more than 300 pelicans died, along with dozens of dolphins and more than 150 manatees. Scientists have yet to figure out what killed them — and the manatee die-off began again last year.
Courtesy of

Dozens of dead birds turning up at Weeks Bay, Alabama, USA

State wildlife officials are investigating reports of dead birds found near the mouth of Weeks Bay.
The dead birds, including seagulls, brown pelicans and great blue herons, are located near the boat launch at the end of County Road 1. We counted 17 dead birds at that location Wednesday.
Locals that fish here aren’t sure what’s happening and are concerned. Some have formed their own theories including illegal shootings, deadly bacteria in Weeks Bay and electrocution from overhead power lines.
A state wildlife spokesperson says they don’t know the cause of death but will investigate. Until wildlife experts get a chance to study, research and document, the bird deaths will remain a mystery.
Courtesy of

Dozens of Pelicans dying, reason unknown on Grand Isle, Louisiana, USA

As many as 35 brown pelicans have been found dead on Grand Isle in the past two weeks, prompting an investigation by scientists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. They’ve dismissed suspicions that the birds were shot but have yet to determine the cause of death.
The dead pelicans were first reported to the Grand Isle Police Department, which asked state officials to investigate. “In the wintertime, we always get some calls about dead pelicans, but this seems to be an extraordinary amount,” said Cheryl McCormack, secretary to Police Chief Euris DuBois. “We’re alarmed about the number of them.”
The brown pelican, Louisiana’s state bird, was removed from the federal list of endangered and threatened species in 2009, but it is still protected under federal law. The birds had largely vanished from Louisiana’s coast by the mid-1960s, after exposure to the pesticide DDT resulted in too-fragile eggshells.
More than 1,200 pelicans were imported from Florida in 1968. But the time of delisting, there were more than 12,000 breeding pairs in Texas and Louisiana.
Several dead brown pelicans collected by the Grand Isle Police Department in recent days have been turned over to wildlife officials, and others were being collected on Wednesday (Feb. 3) for testing, said Michael Seymour, a non-game ornithologist with Wildlife and Fisheries. He said there have been several estimates of the number of dead birds, including 14 along several miles of beaches and 20 in a single mile of beach. A survey by a Wildlife and Fisheries employee found 15 or more birds over several miles.
Seymour said officials already have dismissed early reports that some of the pelicans might have been shot. A veterinarian with the department will conduct a necropsy, an animal version of an autopsy, on better-preserved carcasses, he said.
“Hopefully, we’ll have an answer in the next few days, but we’re not entirely sure,” Seymour said. If the necropsies are unsuccessful, bird carcasses might be sent to a federal wildlife disease research center out of state for a more comprehensive review.
Seymour said it’s not unusual to find dead pelicans washing up on beaches or elsewhere during cold, winter months, especially juvenile birds that starved to death before learning the best hunting skills. Some winter pelican deaths are the result of parasites, he said. Still others can die in the aftermath of winter storms, the result of being caught in cold rain, having their feathers become waterlogged then succumbing to hypothermia.
“It’s not necessarily unusual to see pelicans dying in the winter,” he said. “What may or may not be unusual is the number of dead birds. We don’t have a baseline of what to expect each year; we don’t have anybody counting dead birds every year.”
Courtesy of

8 sea lions, 6 pelicans and 1 dolphin found dead, ‘starving, no food’ along coast of Trujillo, Peru

Murieron en la orilla. (Alan Benites)
They died on the shore. (Alan Benites)
The El Niño phenomenon is beginning to wreak havoc among marine species in the North of the country. As was reported, eight sea lions appeared dead among the trujillanos spas in Buenos Aires and Huanchaco.
Added to this are the six Pelicans and dolphins which appeared in the same conditions, a week ago, in this same area. Carlos Bocanegra, biologist at the National University of Trujillo, said that This is due to the warming of the sea, causing shortage of anchovy, staple food of birds and marine mammals.
“This resource has migrated to the South. For this reason, birds and sea lions, here in the North, do not have what to eat and reach the shore of the sea in search of food. ” We’re on the El Niño phenomenon, in the coming months there will be more deaths of this type”, warned.
He added that another problem identified is that some sea lions, in their eagerness to find it food, they break the nets of fishermen, who, in revenge, kill them beating them up. The specialist said that, according to international agencies, we are facing an extraordinary child who will hit with heavy rains until March 2016.
Courtesy of

Masses of dead fish, plus dead pelicans wash ashore in La Brea, Trinidad and Tobago

Fish Kill Alert

As the carcasses of fish, pelicans and even a dolphin washed up on the beaches of La Brea last weekend, president of the La Brea Fisherfolk Association Alvin La Borde is pleading with the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) to conduct comprehensive studies on toxicity levels of the Gulf of Paria.
Speaking by telephone yesterday, La Borde said although many people blame Petrotrin’s oil spill in December 2013, the washing up of dead fish in La Brea has been going on long before that incident. 
However, he said it had been increasing in recent times and it was becoming extremely worrying as they feared the gulf may be contaminated.
Yesterday, Point Sable, Carat Shed Beach and Coffee Beach were feasting grounds for corbeaux as carcasses littered the shoreline for miles. A few beachgoers who gathered at Carat Shed Beach said they dared not enter the water as they were not sure if the beach was safe.
La Borde said: “We’re not pointing fingers at any particular individual or company but we must be mindful that there are a lot of companies operating around the Gulf of Paria. 
“The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) stated that companies are not sending in their water samples as they ought too. I don’t know whose fault it is but I believe if the EMA is in charge, they need to enforce the rules.
“Fish sales have not dropped but we need to be sure that fish that are being put on families’ tables are safe to eat. We are looking at people bathing on the beaches and they can come into contact with whatever chemicals are killing the fish and that will create another problem. 
“Dead fish washing ashore is something that was taking place long before the oil spill so it is not to say everything that has happened since is because of the spill. 
“EMA has to collect the proper samples from companies in the Gulf of Paria and they need to investigate what is killing the fish. They need to be more stricter with the companies they gave certificates of environmental clearance to because some of them are doing what they want.”
Courtesy of