Mudcat Café message #3073130 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134719   Message #3073130
Posted By: JohnInKansas
12-Jan-11 - 01:29 PM
Thread Name: BS: What's killing thou's of birds&fish- Arkansas?
Subject: RE: BS: What's killing thou's of birds&fish- Arkansas?
Nothing Mysterious

Reuters
1/12/2011

BUCHAREST (Reuters Life!) - There was nothing mysterious about the death of a flock of birds in Romania last week -- they were simply drunk, veterinarians said.

Residents of the Black Sea city of Constanta alerted authorities Saturday after they found dozens of dead starlings, fearing they may have been infected with bird flu , which triggered mass deaths in avian populations in 2004-2006.

"Tests on five birds showed gizzards full of grape marc which caused their death," Romeu Lazar, head of the city's veterinary authority told Reuters, referring to a pulpy residue which is a by-product of winemaking.

"This also applies to two dead crows we tested," Lazar said. Birds are not used to alcohol but harsh winter and snow had prevented birds from finding food. Had they been able to eat some seeds, this would have diluted the poison."

The grape marc was presumed to have come from a winery, but the veterinary chief said he did not know where.
There have been a series of unexplained mass bird deaths in several countries across the globe in the last few weeks, including in the United States and Sweden.

Hundreds of dead birds were discovered in Louisiana this month and 5,000 in Arkansas at New Year. Swedish authorities have also been investigating the deaths of 100 jackdaws found in a street in Falkoping. Experts say storms, hail, lightning or collisions with airplanes or power lines are among the possible causes of bird deaths.
Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

And:

First Birds, Now Crickets

msnbc.com news services
1/12/2011

PORT ALLEN, La. A virus has killed millions of crickets raised to feed pet reptiles and those kept in zoos.

The cricket paralysis virus has disrupted supplies to pet shops across North America as a handful of operators have seen millions of their insects killed.

Some operations have gone bankrupt and others have closed indefinitely until they can rid their facilities of the virus.
Cricket farms started in the 1940s as a source of fish bait, but the bulk of sales now are to pet supply companies, reptile owners and zoos, although people also eat some.

Most U.S. farms are in the South, but suppliers from Pennsylvania to California also raise crickets.

The virus had swept through European cricket farms in 2002. It was first noticed in 2009 in the U.S. and Canada.

The virus marks the latest in a recent series of mass animal deaths.
Blackbirds fell out of the sky on New Year's Eve in Arkansas. In the days that followed, 2 million fish died in the Chesapeake Bay, 150 tons of red tilapia in Vietnam, 40,000 crabs in Britain and other places across the world.

However, biologists say these mass die-offs happen all the time and usually are unrelated.

Federal records show they happen on average every other day somewhere in North America.

In the past eight months, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center has logged 95 mass wildlife die-offs in North America and that's probably a dramatic undercount, officials say.

The list includes:

900 some turkey vultures that seemed to drown and starve in the Florida Keys.

4,300 ducks killed by parasites in Minnesota.

1,500 salamanders done in by a virus in Idaho.

2,000 bats that died of rabies in Texas.

And the still mysterious death of 2,750 sea birds in California.

Officials blamed the deaths of 5,000 red-winged blackbirds in Beebe, Ark., on New Year's Eve fireworks.

Experts say the loud cracks and booms likely sent the birds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

John