Saturday, April 20, 2013

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: "It Was Creepy" - Many Reports Of Unusually High Numbers Of Deers Found Dead Along Saskatchewan Highways?!

April 20, 2013 - CANADA - It's always a good idea to keep an eye out for animals such as deer and moose along Saskatchewan highways.




At this time of year the animals are hungry after a long winter of deep snow, and the winter has been longer and harsher than usual this year.

With the snow starting to melt, deer are finding some grass in ditches along the roads.




That is leading to carnage, according to many reports on social media. Drivers say they have spotted unusually high numbers of dead deer in ditches along Saskatchewan's highways. - CBC.


MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Over 12,000 Birds Drop Dead From The Sky In Utah's West Desert?!

April 20, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The number of eared grebes rescued — and killed — after their Monday crash-landings at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground was far higher than originally estimated.



Wildlife biologists and volunteers spent Monday and Tuesday gathering 12,800 water birds, carrying the 7,828 surviving birds by pickup trucks to ponds in the region.





The birds were migrating back to the Great Salt Lake for the summer, but apparently became disoriented by snow and fog and mistook wet roads and parking lots for water. Built for water, with legs far to the back of their bodies, they can lift off from the ground only with great difficulty.





An estimated 100 birds were taken to rehabilitation facilities, Dugway spokeswoman Paula Thomas said. Biologists working under a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were burning and burying the birds that died or were so seriously injured they had to be euthanized. - Salt Lake Tribune.


WATCH: Thousands of birds stranded, killed at Dugway after being fooled by storm.







MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Pigs, Dogs And Other Domestic Animals Found Dead In Henan Province, China?!

April 20, 2013 - CHINA - Thousands of animals have been mysteriously dying in China over the past few weeks, with 410 pigs, 122 dogs, and other domestic animals in Dongtun village, Henan Province, added to the list on Monday.

Dead dogs were reported to be piled on the sides of the streets, and residents said many of the surviving animals are ill. Numerous cats died, and even dead rats were found.


Dead domestic animals, mostly pigs and dogs, and wild animals, like birds, were discovered in Dongtun village, Henan Province, on April 15. (Weibo.com)

“There are more than 300 pigs on my pig farm; nearly 200 died, and the rest are dying,” said a villager called Mr. Song, according to a report by the Dahe Daily.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the deaths, and tests have ruled out the new H7N9 bird flu virus, which has reportedly infected 77 people and killed 16 to date.

Instead, locals suspect that the deaths are due to noxious fumes from a nearby chemical plant. The plant has temporarily stopped production, although officials said air quality tests had not revealed any dangerous chemicals.

“There is always a smell, but this morning it was unbearably strong and repulsive,” a local resident told the Dahe Daily.

The plant makes pharmaceutical products, and has been in operation for over 10 years. Residents have repeatedly complained about the environmental pollution, but without results.


Dead domestic animals, mostly pigs and dogs, and wild animals, like birds, were discovered in Dongtun village, Henan Province, on April 15. (Weibo.com)

In the past two years, the emissions got worse and many locals have been suffering physical symptoms. “The gas makes people feel dizzy, and hurts our throats. Many people in the village died of cancer between the ages of 30 and 50” a resident said, according to the Daily.

A reporter with Henan Business Daily said he saw a dozen walnut trees next to a pig farm with darkened wilting leaves, and a lot of the local residents had swollen throats.

A security guard at the chemical plant stopped the reporter from entering. He had apparently received an order from upper management, and said, “The unreal reports by the media had damaged the factory’s credibility.”

A Weibo blogger said: “410 pigs died overnight, 122 dogs died for no reason, the birds fell down while they were flying, the hedgehogs just stopped crawling … and the factory claimed that the unreal reports damaged its reputation …”


Dead domestic animals, mostly pigs and dogs, and wild animals, like birds, were discovered in Dongtun village, Henan Province, on April 15. (Weibo.com)

Another joked: “The tests did not find any harmful chemicals in air samples from the village, so the animals died of being investigated for corruption?”

The carcasses are being disposed of in a remote area by burying them in a deep pit sprayed with lime.

Other recent mass animal deaths in China include 16,000 pig carcasses dumped in Shanghai’s Huangpu River, hundreds of pounds of dead fish in Shanghai and Beijing, and dead wild birds in Jiangsu, Hubei, and Sichuan provinces. - The Epoch Times.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Massive Geyser Erupts In Russian Parking Lot!

April 20, 2013 - RUSSIA - Cameras in Russia seem to capture everything from fiery meteors to crazy crashes.

The latest video comes from a camera mounted high above the main square in Smolensk, overlooking a busy parking lot on what appears to be a nice sunny day.



It takes but seconds for a small cloud of steam, appearing harmless at first, to erupt into a hot water geyser rivaling Old Faithful.

What you don't see from the video are the brick-sized chunks of pavement and rocks that were launched into the air and onto the surrounding vehicles.

Within minutes, a large flow of water has flooded the parking area as the natural geyser continues to spew water and steam hundreds of feet into the air.

If this happened in our backyard, we would hightail it out of town fearing another eruption of Vesuvian magnitude - yet the locals in Smolensk seem only slightly disrupted, continuing to seek open spots in the parking lot despite the odd chaos mere yards away. - Autoblog.

WATCH: Enormous hot water geyser in Russia.




MASS OYSTER DIE-OFF: "It's Pretty Much Wiped Out, It's Had A Massive Impact On The Industry" - MILLIONS Of Oysters Wiped Out By Unknown Flesh-Eating Disease In Port Stephens, Australia?!

April 20, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - An unknown flesh-eating disease has killed millions of dollars worth of Pacific oysters in Port Stephens, and has caused financial devastation for many growers.

The Department of Primary Industries said yesterday it was also investigating mysterious deaths of previously unaffected Sydney rock oysters.


Image: news.net.

The department’s scientists are trying to identify the disease to curtail any further damage to the industry.

There is concern the incident at Port Stephens, along with the recent Hawkesbury River oyster deaths, may result in an oyster shortage in NSW.

Many growers told the Newcastle Herald the disease, which first emerged in January, had ruined their 2013 winter crop as well as next year’s crop.

“It’s pretty much wiped me out – it’s had a massive impact on the industry,” Lemon Tree Passage grower Paul Merrick said.

He has lost 80 per cent of this year’s crop, worth $200,000.

The disease, which was first noticed in January, is not related to Pacific Oysters Mortality Syndrome.

This destroyed Pacific oyster supply around the Hawkesbury River.

Algal sampling by the Department of Primary Industries showed levels of algae Pseudonitschia is three to five times higher than in previous years.

“Pseudonitschia is not noted as a risk to shellfish but sometimes these blooms can irritate the oyster’s gut lining, which could exacerbate any pre-existing conditions,” a spokeswoman said.

"The Department of Primary Industries is also assessing water-quality data to try to identify factors which may be affecting oyster health."

She added growers affected by natural disasters or disease events could lodge an application for a fee waiver for financial hardship.

Port Stephens oyster growers’ industry representative Richard Hamlyn Harris said growers want to know the cause of the disease.

“It’s certainly very strange – I haven’t come across a set of circumstances like this,” he said. - Food Magazine.


ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Across The World - Enduring Winter Tough On Migratory Birds In The U.S. Great Plains

April 20, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A rare sequence of spring snowstorms across the northern Great Plains is causing difficulties and even starvation for some migratory birds.



Birds that normally winter in the Dakotas, like this Junco hyemalis, are having a tough time scavenging for food as winter refuses to end, even in April.
© Eric Landwehr, South Dakota State University

While it's not unusual to get a single snowstorm in April, the weekly storms during late March and the first half of April are taking their toll on wildlife, according to bird expert Kent Jensen of South Dakota State University.

He and others beneath North America's Central and Mississippi migratory "flyways" have found dead robins in their backyards, with the birds emaciated and even having burned up their breast muscles for nutrition in a last-ditch effort to survive.

"The ground to the north in North Dakota and Canada is still frozen, and we're only getting occasional thaws that allow the birds to feed from the ground here in eastern South Dakota," Jensen tells Earthweek.

He said many species are holding back far to the south, but the early-arriving robins have been forced to eat the wax coating of cedar berries to keep their fat supplies up.

Frozen lakes are also holding back migratory waterfowl, which could mean they are using up energy during their unplanned layover that they need for successful breeding this summer, Jensen says.

The fat supplies those birds need for laying eggs high in the Arctic is also being depleted as the birds hold back to the south, waiting for spring to finally arrive. - Earth Week.