IT'S not a bad moon rising, but it is a big one. The question of whether trouble's on the way, however, is entirely up to what or who you believe.
In a fortnight Earth will experience the biggest moon it has seen in nearly two decades.
As well as providing some unique photo opportunities, some astronomers - well, one - are already predicting it may bring more worrying disruptions to the Earth’s climate patterns.
Earthquakes are not out of the question. More about that later.
For now, all you need to know is that on March 19th the moon will be at its closest point to Earth in 18 years, an event that is known as a “lunar perigee”.
Or the much more exciting “SuperMoon”, as one astrologer called it.
On March 19, the moon will be just 356,577km away from Earth, an event that has internet theorists a-quiver with the possibility of extreme weather, earthquakes and volcanoes.
Not all scientists are convinced, however.
Though throughout the last year the world may have seen birds falling from the sky and schools of dead fish washing up on the shore, Pete Wheeler of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy says we shouldn’t be running to our bomb shelters just yet.
“There will be no earthquakes or volcanoes,” Mr Wheeler told news.com.au, “unless they are to happen anyway".
“(The Earth will experience) just a lower than usual low tide and a higher than usual high tide around the time of the event, but nothing to get excited about.”
But try telling that to anyone who suffered through the New England hurricane in 1938, or the Hunter Valley floods of 1955. Both happened during lunar perigrees.
Cyclone Tracy in 1974 and Hurricance Katrina in 2005 also coincided with SuperMoons, or at least, very close to.
Bah, says astronomer and lecturer David Reneke, who claims there’s more cause for alarm about the extent of human paranoia than any sort of impending apocalypse.
“If you try hard enough you can chronologically associate almost any natural disaster/event to anything in the night sky ... comet, planet, sun,” Dr Reneke told news.com.au
“Remember in the past, planetary alignments were going to pull the sun apart. It didn't. Astrologers draw a very long bow most times.
“Normal king tides are about all I would expect out of this SuperMoon prediction.”
So no luck, astrologers, voodoo priests and other assorted witches. It seems Science has all the answers this time.
But wait - this just in from Dr Victor Gostin, Planetary and Environmental Geoscientist at Adelaide University.
He told news.com.au the predictions of weather and earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters based on planetary configurations have not been successful, but there may be some correlation between near-equatorial large scale earthquakes and new and full moon situations.
“This is because the Earth-tides (analogous to ocean tides) may be the final trigger that sets off the earthquake,” he said.
And of course there’s always the possibility of getting that Creedence Clearwater Revival song stuck in your head, topping the list of terrifying events that make it hard not to become paranoid about the night of March 19.
Millions of 6ft, 440lb jellyfish are congregating off the western coast of Japan, their numbers apparently boosted by rising sea temperatures and a decline in natural predators.
Increasing numbers of the jellyfish have been recorded in the Sea of Japan since 2002 Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Nomura's jellyfish are one of the largest species of the creature in the world. Their scale was demonstrated in the autumn of 2009, when a 10-ton fishing boat was sunk as the crew tried to haul in a net containing dozens of the creatures.
Increasing numbers of the jellyfish have been recorded in the Sea of Japan since 2002, with experts suggesting the population explosion in recent years is due to the 1.89 degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature in waters off China making conditions more favourable for breeding.
In the early 1900s, according to Professor Shinichi Uye, a leading expert on the species at the Graduate School of Biosphere Science of Hiroshima University, large numbers were only reported every 40 years or so.
Another contributing factor, experts believe, is a decline in the number of predators, which include sea turtles and certain species of fish.
Japan was invaded on a similar scale in the summer of 2005, when the jellyfish damaged nets, rendered fish inedible with their toxic stings and even caused injuries to fishermen. In 2007, there were 15,500 reports of damage to fishing equipment caused by the creatures.
Some speculated about the apocalypse but fishermen and harbour chiefs are puzzled after millions of dead sardines were found floating in a marina just south of Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Experts said the fish, found at a harbour in Redondo Beach, may have died from lack of oxygen due to algae, while locals wondered if high winds overnight might have had something to do with it.
"It looks like what happens to goldfish when you don't change the water in the tank, mouth open and belly up," local official Bill Workman said, cited by the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
"There are no visible signs of any toxins that might have caused [the deaths] and our early assessment is that this was oxygen depletion," he said, adding: "There are no oil slicks or leaking of substances into the water."
Locals at Redondo Beach, where the stench from the dead fish hung over King Harbour, suggested that high winds could have driven the fish into the harbour, where their sheer numbers would have reduced the oxygen available.
Experts were cautious.
"What we're trying to tease apart is whether it's a consequence of algal build-up, a fish build-up or something toxic in the water," David Caron of the University of Southern California said.
California Department of Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan told Reuters: "Essentially Basin 1 of Redondo Beach Harbour is full of dead sardines floating on the water, probably 5 per cent of the total basin harbour is filled with sardines that are dead."
Mr Hughan said biologists had tentatively concluded that the massive group of fish, known as a "bait ball" and initially identified by police as anchovies, died from oxygen deprivation after being driven into a closed-off pier area by rough seas and heavy winds.
"It looks like they just swam in the wrong direction and ended up in a corner of the pier that doesn't have any free-flowing oxygen in it," Mr Hughan said.
"There's nothing that appears to be out of sorts, no oil sheen no chemicals, no sign of any kind of illegal activity," he said. "As one fisherman just told me, this is natural selection."
Mr Hughan said such incidents were rare but not unheard of.
While biologists concluded their investigation, the dead fish drew curious onlookers, some who took pictures of the floating clusters of silver fish covering the surface of the water.
"The issue now is clean-up because we have tonnes and tonnes of dead fish rotting and putrefying, which obviously creates hazardous material," Redondo Beach Police Sergeant Phil Keenan said.
Authorities who initially said they would consider dumping the dead fish several kilometres out to sea later decided to truck them instead to organic waste recycling centers, where they could be turned into fertiliser.
Trudy Padilla, the marina's tenant services co-ordinator, said the dead fish suddenly began showing up overnight, and that one end of the marina had been blocked off as clean-up operations got organised.
King Harbour Marina provides 850 boat slips to private vessels.
Meanwhile readers of the Los Angeles Times website were offering their suggestions.
One said: "Instead of hauling the dead anchovies to the dump the city should make some money by selling them to bait shops - like the saying, 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.'"
Another, Captain Willy Hampton, said: "This happens on the east coast every year when the blue fish chase the bait fish into a closed area and the massive number of bait fish simply deplete the oxygen in the water. Don't waste your $ on figuring it out. Use the dead fish for fertalizer. This is something that just happens."
More and more seals are washing up on New Jersey beaches recently, according to reports given to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J.
There have been 26 seal strandings in New Jersey since November, sources say. Fourteen of those strandings happened in February.
While it is not unusual for seals to get stranded this time of year, there are more than usual showing up on Jersey shore beaches, according to a spokeswoman for the Brigantine center.
The gray and harbor seals found on the beaches are malnourished and have parasites, sources say. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is housing 11 seals right now -- making the center two-thirds full.
Many are suffering from respiratory infections and parasites, officials say.
One seal came ashore on Island Beach State Park Saturday, but slipped back into the waters off Seaside Park, reports the Star Ledger.
The reason for the increased number of seals stranded is still unknown but officials at the center believe that global warning could be playing a role in the harp seals becoming stranded.
Folks at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center are asking for the public's help to cover some of the costs (food, medicine, etc.) for caring for the seals. Anyone who wants to help can help "Adopt-a-Seal" by clicking here.
Also, they put out a PSA (which you can see here first) to help educate the public about what to do if they see a seal on the beach -- the tips include calling the center ASAP at (609) 266-0538 and staying at least 50 feet away from the animal.
Also, they put out a PSA (which you can see here first) to help educate the public about what to do if they see a seal on the beach -- the tips include calling the center ASAP at (609) 266-0538 and staying at least 50 feet away from the animal.
By Teresa Masterson, Dan Stamm NBCPhiladelphia.com NBCPhiladelphia.com updated 3/8/2011 1:15:20 AM ET 2011-03-08T06:15:20
[From Web Site]: I received these photos and message today: I came upon this creature on the beach on Long Island in Glen Cove N.Y. today 2/12/11. Glen Cove is located in Nassau County, New York on the north shore of Long Island.
NOTE: this may simply be a dog (though it has five toes) or an indigenous mammal...what's your opinion? Lon
Ailment afflicting birds around Lake Erie By TOM HENRY BLADE STAFF WRITER
Several dozen Canada geese along western Lake Erie's shoreline have recently died or are presumed dead while others have become so sick they cannot hold up their heads, fly, or maintain control of their motor functions
State wildlife investigators are stumped, awaiting word on tests that a national wildlife laboratory in Wisconsin has been doing on some of the dead birds.
"They will fall out of the sky and have trouble staying upright," said Dave Sherman, a biologist at the Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station the Ohio Department of Natural Resources operates in Ottawa County.
Symptoms began manifesting themselves first with mallards about two or three weeks ago. "Now, it's mostly geese we're seeing," he said.
The bulk of the problem appears to be in the Oregon area, Mr. Sherman said, in the vicinity of open water near FirstEnergy Corp.'s coal-fired Bay Shore power plant, where birds typically congregate this time of year.
The plant's warm-water discharge often keeps that part of the lake from freezing.
But the problems are not limited to that area.
Mr. Sherman said some of the sick or dead geese have been found as far east as Vermilion, Ohio, which is halfway between Sandusky and Cleveland.
Four were recently found on a thawed part of the Maumee River near downtown Perrysburg.
Cody Klima, Ohio DNR wildlife officer, said he has picked up about two dozen goose carcasses over the past couple of weeks.
Laura Zitzelberger, operations director at Nature's Nursery in Whitehouse, said at least eight or nine of a dozen geese that were brought to the facility died or had to be euthanized. The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
He also said he's taken that many sick birds or more to Nature's Nursery in Whitehouse and Back to the Wild in Castalia, Ohio, two facilities that attempt to rehabilitate injured wildlife.
Officials at those facilities have not had much success with this outbreak.
Many of the sick, injured, or dead geese are inaccessible because warming temperatures have made the ice too dangerous to traverse.
"I'm guessing some of them are drowning," Mr. Klima said. "They lose their coordination and flip upside down."
He said he has been getting about a dozen calls a day from area residents reporting new sightings or seeking answers about birds they've seen.
"They're throwing their heads back. They're losing all balance and literally almost all back-somersault and have a seizure," according to Laura Zitzelberger, operations director at Nature's Nursery. At least eight or nine of about a dozen geese that were brought to Nature's Nursery either died or had to be euthanized.
Two ducks and one of the geese that exhibited symptoms appear to have recovered. Another goose is struggling, she said.
At Back to the Wild, 18 of 23 geese dropped off for treatment have died, nearly all within the past three days, said Sarah Langdon, Back to the Wild supervisor.
Of the remaining five, three are "acting like normal geese again" and may be released soon, she said.
Seventeen of those 23 injured birds were brought in from the Bay Shore plant area, she said.
A recent outbreak has resulted in the deaths of several dozen Canada geese along the Lake Erie shore. The dead birds have been found as far east as Vermilion, Ohio, which is about halfway between Sandusky and Cleveland.
The affected geese exhibit loss of motor skills. The loss of coordination is causing the geese to be unable to fly and geese are also dying by drowning, as they become off-balance and flip upside down in the water.
Some geese have been taken to area nature rehabilitation centers, where some were euthanized while others are improving.
State wildlife officials are unsure what the illness is and are awaiting test results to come back from a national wildlife laboratory in Wisconsin.
Chris Barry, a Perrysburg engineer, said he has seen three carcasses and a sick goose on the Perrysburg side of the Maumee River since Saturday. He said they were only 20 to 30 feet from the shore, but the ice was too dangerous to walk on.
"They're at the edge of the ice," Mr. Barry said, referring to an area near Water and Pine streets in Perrysburg.
The sick bird "was floating in a tiny patch of open water," Mr. Barry said.
"It didn't have much strength left," he said.
Anyone who sees geese acting strangely can contact the Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station at 419-898-0960 or the ODNR office in Findlay.
Contact Tom Henry at:
STUNNED Richard Morwood has discovered his missus is the same girl whose message in a bottle he answered 30 years ago. Mandy English was just 13 when she hurled the note requesting a penpal into the sea during a 1979 school trip to Scotland.
Two years later Richard, then just six, spotted the glass bottle on the beach and sent a reply by postcard.
Mandy never wrote back because of the age difference.
But while sorting through keepsakes last week, she found the 1981 card and realised its schoolboy sender had the same name as Richard, her boyfriend since last June.
She asked the road maintenance worker, now 36, if he remembered the message in the bottle - and it suddenly dawned on them that they had "met" before.
Mandy, now a 44-year-old mum of three, said: "It was amazing. I then realised he was the little lad who sent me that lovely postcard all those years ago. I was so shocked I nearly passed out.
"It's crazy that it was Richard who wrote to me. It's not like we've lived all our lives near each other. We grew up hundreds of miles apart."
Richard, from Motherwell, found the message on the shore during a family holiday at Carradale in Argyll, Scotland.
He moved to Hull, East Yorks, in 2003 and by pure chance met Mandy, of nearby Beverley, with neither aware of their '80s childhood encounter.
Richard said: "When Mandy asked if I remembered sending a postcard, I said I had a vague recollection of finding the message, then my mum coaxing me into writing back.
"I couldn't believe it when Mandy told me SHE was the one who had put the message in the bottle. It's bizarre.
"We definitely think fate brought us together. The most amazing thing is that in 1981 I signed off 'Love Richard' - and, now she's my girlfriend, I really do love her."
Richard's postcard has a picture of the Isle of Arran on the front - and is penned in childish handwriting.
It is addressed to "Miss Mandy English, Beverley, East Yorkshire", postmarked "Motherwell & Wishaw, 11 June 1981", and has an 11½p stamp.
On it, Richard wrote: "Dear Mandy I found your letter in the bottle at Skipness, Mull of Kintyre near where the boat comes in from Lochranza last week when I was on holiday at Carradale.
"I am 6 years old. Love Richard."
Healthcare worker Mandy, who has two daughters and a son by a previous partner, said: "I thought about writing back, but he was a lot younger than me so I didn't.
"I completely forgot about him and only kept the card because I like to collect them. Then this happened!"
Daughter Rachel, 20, said: "It's incredible. No one would ever have guessed."
'Super pack' of 400 wolves terrorise remote Russian town after killing 30 horses in just four days. By Daily Mail Reporter 7th February 2011
A 'super pack' of wolves has been terrifying a town after leaving more than 30 horses dead in just four days. Four hundred bloodthirsty wolves have been spotted prowling around the edges of Verkhoyansk, in Russia, attacking livestock at will.
Twenty four teams of hunters have been put together to get rid of the wolves, with a bounty of £210 for every wolf skin brought to officials.
Stepan Rozhin, an administration official for the Verkhoyansk district in Russia, said: 'To protect the town we are creating 24 teams of armed hunters, who will patrol the neighbourhood on snowmobiles and set wolf traps.
'But we need more people. Once the daylight increases, the hunters will start shooting predators from helicopters.'
A pack of wolves this size is unheard of, with the animals usually preferring to hunt in smaller groups of just six or seven. The massive group is believed to be made from hundreds of packs and has left animal experts baffled.
Dr Valerius Geist, a wildlife behaviour expert, said the harsh Siberian winter - where temperatures plummet to minus 49C - had killed off the animal's usual prey.
He said: 'It is unusual for wolves to gather in such numbers of hunt large animal like horses.
'However, the population of their usual prey, rabbits, has decreased this year due to lack of food, so wolves have had to change their habits.
'Wolves are very careful to choose the most nutritious food source easiest obtained without danger - which in this case happens to be horses.
'They will start tackling dangerous prey when they run out of non-dangerous prey.'
Villagers have already managed to snare a number of the animals but the pack is so sizeable that is likely to take some time to deal with.
Verkhoyansk, with a population of just 1,300, is one of the coldest and remotest places in the northern hemisphere and lies within an area known as Stalin's Death Ring, after the former dictator sent political exiles there due to the extreme conditions.
Dead Fish Wash Up At Sebastian Inlet State Park State Wildlife Biologists Believe Lack Of Oxygen Killed Fish February 4, 2011
SEBASTIAN, Fla. -- Biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they believe a lack of oxygen is what caused thousands of fish to die at Sebastian Inlet State Park.
WPBF 25 News alerted the FWC after u local user jhazel uploaded photos of the dead fish that had washed ashore Friday morning.
"I saw the fish jumping out there and I thought it was going to be a really good day for fishing, and then I noticed over here in the surf that they're all dead," fisherman Jeff Johnson told WPBF 25 News.
FWC biologists arrived to assess the situation and take water samples as people watched.
"It's a little shocking, yes," Johnson said. "I don't know if there's chemicals in the water or the temperatures that caused this."
Biologists said it's neither.
"Just because there's such a large school of them, they use up the oxygen really quickly, and because they are coming closer to shore, there's not as high of a water turnover rate sometimes when you're in an area with not as much tidal flow," FWC biologist Kelli O'Donnell said.
The lack of oxygen also affected a 20-pound redfish. O'Donnell swished it through the water to get more oxygen through its gills.
Although the mass fish deaths are rare, biologists said these types of fish are prone to die from a lack of oxygen.
"There's still a huge school out there where if they don't swim away soon to go to an area where there's a higher oxygen level, then they are going to probably end up dying also," O'Donnell said.
The shifting of the planet's northern magnetic pole forced Tampa International Airport to readjust their runways on Thursday, according to a report by Jeremy A. Kaplan of Foxnews.com.
Kaplan reports that the shifting of the Earth's magnetic fields, spurred by the drifting of the north pole towards Russia, has prompted officials at the Florida airport to shut down their primary runway until January 13. The temporary closure will give them time to change their taxiway signs to account for the magnetic changes, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials told Fox News.
"The poles are generated by movements within the Earth's inner and outer cores, though the exact process isn't exactly understood. They're also constantly in flux, moving a few degrees every year, but the changes are almost never of such a magnitude that runways require adjusting," Kaplan reported, citing FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto as a source.
The runway's listing on aviation charts will be changed from 18R/36L (representing 180-degree approach from the north and the 360-degree approach from the south) to 19R/1L, according to various media sources.
When Kaplan asked Takemoto how often these kinds of adjustments were needed at airports, the FAA spokesman told him, "It happens so infrequently that they wouldn't venture a guess… In fact, you're the first journalist to ever ask me about it." He was also quick to point out that passenger safety will not be an issue, but that the changes were needed "to make sure the precision is there that we need."
According to a Wednesday article in the Tampa Tribune, late this month, the airport's east parallel runway and a seldom used east-west runway will also be closed so that officials can change signage to reflect their new designations as well.
"The Federal Aviation Administration required the runway designation change to account for what a National Geographic News report described as a gradual shift of the Earth's magnetic pole at nearly 40 miles a year toward Russia because of magnetic changes in the core of the planet," the Florida newspaper's website also said.
At least 14 whales from a pod of more than 80 beached on the New Zealand coast have died, with officials fearing others may be stranded elsewhere after freeing themselves on Saturday.
Department of Conservation staff were searching beaches west of the South Island tourist city of Nelson looking for survivors.
"We don't know whether they have managed to swim safely (out to) sea or whether they may have stranded somewhere else along the coast," department spokeswoman Trish Grant said.
Advertisement: Story continues below Residents at Farewell Spit, 150 kilometres from Nelson, said the whales began beaching themselves early on Friday afternoon.
Conservation staff rushed to the area to keep the whales cool and hydrated in the afternoon sun but 14 had died before they refloated themselves on a midnight high tide.
"Some, even though they are refloated, do wash up dead later on because they've been through such an ordeal so they are considerably weakened by it," Grant said.
Whale strandings are not uncommon in the area and Grant said there were various theories as to why the animals beached themselves.
"It's something that has occurred reasonably often in Golden Bay with pilot whales, and just even the shape of the bay could mean they kind of get a bit caught with the spit coming round, so it could just be navigational error."
Pilot whales up to six metres long are the most common species of whale seen in New Zealand waters.
Last month, 24 died after stranding near Cape Reinga in the far north of the country.
In December 2009, more than 120 whales died in two separate beachings at Farewell Spit and Colville Bay in the North Island
By Sally Kestin and Juan Ortega, Sun Sentinel February 5, 2011
FORT LAUDERDALE — In Fort Lauderdale alone, 212 beachgoers were stung on Friday and 261 on Saturday
Portuguese man-of-war piled up on the beaches in Broward and Palm Beach counties Saturday in what one veteran lifeguard called the worst influx he's seen in decades.
In Fort Lauderdale alone, 212 beachgoers were stung on Friday and 261 on Saturday.
"It would have been far, far worse, but we were all up and down the beach keeping people out of the water,'' said Lt. Jim McCrady of Fort Lauderdale's Ocean Rescue. "I've never seen this many ever. I've been out here for 24 years.''
Most beachside cities, including Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton and Delray Beach, reported the presence of man-of-war in recent days. If southeasterly winds stay at a steady 5 mph to 10 mph, the pesky sea creatures will linger.
With neon purple and blue balloon-like floats and dangling tentacles, man-of-war deliver powerful stings that can sometimes cause swelling and shortness of breath. Lifeguards usually keep gels and solutions on hand to treat any stings.
Before hitting the beach, residents should check their cities' ocean rescue websites for the latest conditions.
"We still want everyone to go out to the beach and enjoy the sand and sun, but definitely consult your lifeguard before you go in the water,'' McCrady said.
What killed hundreds of dead birds found on a Rotorua central city street? Nobody seems to know.
Michael says: February 5, 2011 at 1:50 am THIS WHOLE THING ACTUALLY STARTED MID 2010, WITH SOME REPORTS THAT CAME OUT, BUT NOT ALL I’M SURE. BELOW IS A HUGE LIST I COMPRISED OF ALL THE INCIDENTS ‘REPORTED’. I place the Date it was shown in reports, the area, a briefing then the result of any investigation. Kind of like a Readers Digest list. You will find the governments make excuses for this by saying it’s Virus, cold weather, storms, migration or just unknown. There is a MASS EFFECT killing these creatures. The millions of death REPORT, are not what they say they are.
June 18th 2010 Indiana, Osgood: Dozens of Dead Starling Birds Found in Ripley County Neighborhood. Investigation: Unknown cause.
July 28th 2010 California, San Diego: Hundreds of birds have turned up dead in a major drinking-water source that serves a large portion of San Diego County, but water officials claim the water is OK to drink. Investigation: Possible the water could be contaminated with avian botulism.
May 2nd 2010 Texas, Galveston: Hundreds of dead migratory birds, many of them colorful songbirds, are washing up on Galveston beaches, victims of a strong north wind and the perils of migration. Investigation: Blamed on strong north wind & migration.
October 23rd 2010 Ukraine, Kiev: About 1,500 birds have been found dead on an Ukraine island, authorities said Saturday. Most of the birds were cormorants, but a large number of herring gulls were also found on Ukraine’s Bolshoi Dzendzik Island, the emergencies ministry said. Investigation: Specialists from the local veterinary office have taken samples for laboratory testing
November 2nd, 2010 Australian, Tasmania: Thousands of sea birds found dead along Tasmania’s west and north-west coasts were fatigued after a marathon migration. Residents from the Pieman River, on the west coast, through to Ulverstone have reported seeing dead shearwaters washed up on beaches. Investigation: Migration & storm weather blamed.
December 20th 2011Austraila, Perth: Thousands of Crows, Pigeons, Wattles & Honeyeaters fell out of the sky in Esperance, Western Australia (Estimated date on deaths). Investigation: Unknown cause. Environment & Conservation said began before freak storm.
January 1st 2011 Arkansas, Beebe: 5,000+ Red-winged blackbirds & Starlings fall out of the sky dead in Beebe, Arkansas 40 miles North West of Little Rock. Investigation determined massive Trauma & many organs were liquified.
January 1st 2011 Arkansas, 200,000+ Dead fish wash up on the shores of Arkansas River covering 20-miles . Investigation: A Guess that the cause was cold weather. Weather radar shows something unusual around time birds fell that was an estimated 9.4 miles in diameter that never moved in the high winds.
January 3rdth 2011 Maryland & Virginia, Chesapeake Bay: 2,000,000 (2 million) Dead fish consisting of Menhayden, spots & Croakers wash up on Chesapeake Bay shores. Investigation: A guess was that cold water stress caused the deaths.
January 4th 2011 Florida, Volusia County: Thousands of dead fish consisting of Mullet, Ladyfish, Catfish & Snook lined the twists & turns of Spruce Creek in Port Orange. The fish kill is unusual because it is warm, according to people who live along the creek. Some said it’s the worst kill they’ve ever seen. Investigation: Determined unknown cause.
January 4th 2011 Louisiana, Mass La.: 500+ 500 Dead Red-winged blackbirds & Starlings littered a quarter-mile stretch of highway in Pointe Coupee Parish on Monday & puzzle investigators. Investigation: A Necropsies performed Monday on the birds in Arkansas showed the birds suffered internal injuries that formed blood clots leading to their deaths, The Associated Press reported. A guess was a cold front.
January 4th 2011 Kentucky, Louisville: 3,000+ dead birds Blackbirds found on roads & yards. A women named Sandy said “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Sandy said. “It’s really creepy.” Investigation: Natural causes.
January 4th 2011 Brazil, Paraná region: 100 Tons of Sardines, Croaker & Catfish wash up on the Parana region shores. Investigation: Blamed on cold weather.
January 5th 2011 England, Kent Coastline: 40,000+ Crabs wash up dead on Kent Coastline beach’s. Investigation: Hypothermia was blamed.
January 5th 2011 New Zealand, Coromandel beaches on the North Island: Hundreds of Dead Snapper with no eyes washed up on Coromandel beach’s which frightened residents. Investigation: Unknown mystery
January 6th 2011 Texas, Upshur County: Hundreds of dead Grackles, Sparrows & Pigeons were found near & on the roads, mostly around Hwy 155 near Ore City. Investigation: Possibly a natural occurrence.
January 7th 2011 Italy, Faenza: 8,000+ Turtle Doves rained down dead on rooftops, cars & streets in the town of Faenza. Residents in Faenza described the birds falling to the ground like ‘little Christmas balls’ with strange blue stains on their beaks. Investigation: Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen or poison blamed due to blue tint on beaks.
January 14th 2011 Alabama, highway I-65 south of Athens: 300 plus blackbirds were discovered dead along Interstate 65 in North of Alabama. The birds were found off the side of the northbound lane south of Athens. Investigation: All the dead birds showed signs of trauma.
January 14th 2011 Azerbaijan, Baku: Mass fish death was recorded in the Iranian sector of the Caspian Sea. A large number of dead mullet have washed ashore, Shomalnews.com reported. Investigation: Scientists suggest that the causes of the recent events may be a global disaster or testing of biological weapons.
January 15th 2011 Wisconsin, Portage County, Town of Stockton: 200 dead cows were found in a field at 8055 4th Avenue in the Town of Stockton. (200 cows just don’t drop dead over night) Investigation: A local vet and it’s believed the animals died from the IBR/BVD virus. The virus can cause respiratory & reproductive problems.
January 17th 2011 Canada, Labrador, North Coast: Hundreds of Dead Seals washing up on shores. People on the north coast of Labrador say scores of dead seals have been washing ashore since early December. Investigation: Unknown cause.
January 17th 2011 Vietnam: 10,000 buffalo’s & cows Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed the news this week that more than 10,000 buffalo’s & cows in Vietnam died due to harsh weather conditions. However, these are cold weather climate animals & have been in worse. A week prior, over 700 died during warmer weather. It was only around 20 F during massive 10,000 deaths. Investigation: Blamed on cold weather.
January 18th 2011 Portugal, Vila Nova de Gaia: Thousands of Octopus was up dead on beach’s. That same week between December 29 and January 4, thousands of birds, millions of fish and crab were found dead from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. Investigation: Disease blamed.
January 20th 2011 New York, Cayuga County: 55 Dead Buffalo is a mystery on southern Cayuga County farm. Sempronius buffalo farmer Peter Head has lost 55 animals to a mysterious illness since October, but autopsies have shown no clear cause of death. Investigation: Unknown Disease blamed.
January 21st 2011 Michigan, Detroit: Thousands’ of fish die in Detroit River appear to have died from being trapped in ice flows. Hundreds of dead fish can be seen, with thousands of other schooling below the surface. Investigation: Cold weather blamed.
January 22nd 2011 Canada, Vancouver Island: Thousands of dead herring wash ashore on Vancouver Island beach. Resident Will Meeks said it’s scene he can’t recall ever seeing before on local beaches. Meeks said the dead herring appear to localized to North Beach because he and friends checked nearby beaches & found nothing similar. Investigation: Ommercial herring fisherman, speculated that the fish could have ended up in an area of the ocean close to the beach that was low in oxygen.
January 23rd 2011 Ireland, Dublin: Hundreds of dead fish found in the Six Mile Water river in County Antrim. Billy Robinson from Ballynure Angling Club walked a few miles alongside the river on Sunday afternoon. He said he has seen dead fish from Duck bridge right up towards Ballyclare. “There are quite a few dead trout, from small fish, up to fish weighing three quarters of a pound to a pound in weight, so it seems to be a total fish kill,” he said. “I’m looking over the bridge at the moment & there must be around 30 or 40 fish dead in the space of a few yards.” Investigation: Cold weather maybe.
January 27th 2011 Columbia, Bogota: 2000 fish have turned up dead that display burn marks on their scales. Residents saw a flying object in the skies that Friday, according to local media. The incident occurred at the village of El Llanito in the jurisdiction of the city of Barrancabermeja. The RCN radio network pointed out that residents of the neighboring village of Puente Sogamoso, in the jurisdiction of Puerto Wilches, claimed seeing a round object flying “sideways” on the same day that the fish deaths at El Llanito occurred. Investigation: Death blamed on UFO’s.
January 27th 2011 North Carolina, Topsail Beach, southeastern NC: 200 pelicans have washed up dead on North Carolina beach. Investigation: A Necropsies by the University of Georgia on some of the 200 Brown Pelicans are inconclusive & do not yet support concerns that foul play was responsible.
January 31tst 2011 New Zealand, Waiheke Island: Hundreds of thousands of Horse Mussel Shells wash up dead on beach’s. Investigation: Unknown cause.
February 2nd, 2011 Switzerland, Geneva: Hundreds of pigeons dying in Geneva blamed on Avian virus. Health authorities advised people in an alert published 31 January not to touch any dead birds to avoid spreading the disease to other ones. Investigation: Blamed on Avian Virus.
And now… February 4th, 2011 Florida & AmUntold thousands of marine animals float dead in Amazon river & Florida. At Aquidauana, pantanal region of the Mato Grosso do Sul state, shoals of painteds, pacus, golden fishes, cacharas – and even stingrays, are floating dead in Rio Negro, one of the largest in the Amazon River basin. Investigation: Lack of oxygen in the water
Reply Michael says: February 5, 2011 at 2:06 am See, they used another cover story, saying it was lack of oxygen. A Good guess would be the Seals are being opened…
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land
Hosea 4:2 There is only cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery. They resort to violence and bloodshed.
Hosea 4:3 Therefore the land will mourn, and all its inhabitants will perish. The wild animals, the birds of the sky, and even the fish in the sea will perish.
(Ice age coming) (Increased Earthquakes all over the world) (Massive fish, bird & animal deaths all over the world) (Volcanoes erupting all around the Earth right now)
Revelation 16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
(When the Deep water Horizon oil rig blew up & was on fire, it was viewed from a distance by witnesses as a mountain of fire burning in the Sea)
Revelation 8:8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.
(When the oil started washing up on the Shores in the Gulf, it was according to witnesses and the news, red tinted and clotted like a dead mans blood)
Pilot Steve Irwin was astonished after spotting a mass of more than 100,000 sharks swimming just 100 yards off Florida's sandy beaches.
The long-time fisherman and marine technology expert was cruising 300ft above the clear waters in his helicopter on Sunday when he came across the astonishing scene.
The 50-year-old - who shares his name with the late Australian 'Crocodile Hunter' - whipped out his smartphone to capture the masses of deadly predators, which spanned a 20-mile stretch of water.
The sharks - believed to be Spinners, between 3ft and 7ft long - were heading north and swimming parallel to the east coast's idyllic white beaches between Fort Lauderdale and exclusive Jupiter Island.
Small groups of strays were even spotted milling around swimmers who appeared to be blissfully unaware of the danger, although no injuries were reported.
Experts say this is the time of year when sharks migrate and head for warmer waters, typically swimming close to the shore while chasing after bait-fish.
But Mr Irwin, who runs Island Marine Services in Fort Pierce, was baffled as to the staggering number of sharks gathered in the shallow waters.
'It was an truly amazing sight,' he said.
'I've been a fisherman for 20 years and I also kayak out there and it's common to see them twist and turn and shoot through the air.
'They're prevalent at this time of year but what amazed me was the sheer numbers of them.
'There were tens of thousands of them - I'd say maybe 100,000.
'I kept on flying for about 20 miles and they just kept on coming.
'It's common to see large predatory sharks come in and feed on schools of bait-fish - the odd thing was I didn't see any bait-fish at all!'
Category 5-Giant cyclone pounds Australia coast; no deaths reported
Wed Feb 2, 2011 6:55pm EST
By Rob Taylor
INNISFAIL, Australia, Feb 3 (Reuters) - One of the most powerful cyclones on record tore off roofs, toppled power lines and terrified tens of thousands of people hunkered down in their homes in northeastern Australia on Thursday but there were no reports of deaths.
Many people were astounded that Cyclone Yasi - which packed winds of up to 300 km (186 miles) an hour at its core -- did much less damage than feared.
"It's amazing no-one was killed. The wind was howling like a banshee," said farmer Nathan Fisher, speaking out the window of his four-wheel-drive vehicle as he returned to his property from a shelter in the town of Innisfail.
The cyclone came ashore around midnight along hundreds of kilometres of coast in Queensland state and then drove inland, bringing heavy rains to mining areas struggling to recover from recent devastating floods.
While the cyclone was the size of Italy it appeared to miss major towns in Queensland, a sparsely populated state with about 2 people for every square km. The biggest impact could be on the economy. Sugarcane crops had been damaged although the extent of the destruction was still being assessed, said Steve Greenwood, chief executive of Queensland's Canegrowers organisation.
The districts affected produce 30 percent of the cane grown in Australia, the world's third largest raw sugar exporter.
Some coal mines remained shut, although others were starting to resume operations. Queensland accounts for 90 percent of Australia's steelmaking coal exports.
The eye of the cyclone crossed the coast close to the tourist town of Mission Beach.
"It sounds like a roaring train going over the top of the house. There are trees cracking outside," Hayley Leonard told Seven Network television from a concrete bunker beneath her home in the town of Innisfail.
A fearsome storm has spread a smothering shroud of white over nearly half the US, snarling transportation, burying parts of the Midwest under 2ft of snow and causing at least 12 deaths.
Tens of millions of people stayed at home. The hardy few who ventured out faced howling winds that turned snowflakes into face-stinging needles. Chicago's 20in of snow was the city's third-largest amount on record.
"A storm that produces a swath of 20in snow is really something we'd see once every 50 years - maybe," National Weather Service meteorologist Thomas Spriggs said.
Across the storm's path, lonely commuters struggled against drifts up to 4ft deep in eerily silent streets. Parkas and ski goggles normally reserved for the slopes became essential for getting to work.
Although skies were beginning to clear by mid-afternoon over much of the country's mid-section, the storm promised to leave a blast of bitter cold in its wake. Overnight temperatures in northern parts of the Midwest were expected to fall as low as minus 30C, with wind chills dropping to minus 35C.
The 12 fatalities included a homeless man who burned to death on New York's Long Island as he tried to light cans of cooking fuel, and a woman in Oklahoma City who was killed while being pulled behind a truck on a sledge that hit a railing.
Airport operations slowed to a crawl across the US, and flight cancellations reached 13,000 for the week, making this system the most disruptive so far this winter. A massive post-Christmas blizzard led to about 10,000 cancellations.
In the winter-weary north east, thick ice caused several structures to collapse, including a filling station canopy on Long Island and an airplane hangar near Boston. In at least two places, workers heard the structures beginning to crack and narrowly escaped.
More than half a dozen states began digging out from up to a foot of snow that made roads treacherous and left hundreds of thousands of homes without power.
Chicago schools cancelled classes for a second straight day, and the city's iconic Lake Shore Drive remained shut down, nearly a day after drivers abandoned hundreds of snowbound vehicles.
Elsewhere, utility crews raced to restore power to many thousands of homes and businesses in Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where freezing rain and ice brought down electrical lines. Rolling blackouts were implemented across Texas, due to high demand during a rare ice storm.
In Canada, heavy snow cancelled about a quarter of the 1,200 scheduled flights at Toronto's international airport, closed schools, and caused dangerous driving conditions due to drifting snow.
The storm derived its power from the collision of cold air sweeping down from Canada and warm, moist air coming up from the south.
The contrasts were most dramatic in Texas earlier in the week, when one part of the state reported temperatures below freezing and another part had temperatures around 20C with near-tropical humidity.
Louis Uccellini, director of the government's National Centres for Environmental Prediction, said the storm also drew strength from the La Nina condition currently affecting the tropical Pacific Ocean.
Snow in Brazil! Millions of Dead Fish, Alligators, Turtles… Floating Down Bolivian Rivers! Argentina Has Colder Winter Than Antarctica! August 13th, 2010
from: Lisa Long
The tropical part of South America seem to be experiencing a mini ice age. Who would have thought of that? Fishes, alligators, turtles, dolphins.. dying of freezing temperatures in Bolivia (see video). Could the breaking down of the Gulf Loop Current be the reason. The Gulf Loop Current regulates ocean temperature and thus atmospheric temperature by circulating warm water away from the Gulf of Mexico. My guess is that it is with some help by the Illuminists’ HAARP weapons that the world is experiencing freakish weather. Don’t forget the anomalous heat wave gripping Russia and much of Europe and the floods in Pakistan and China. (See: Pakistan Flood: HAARP Used in Pakistan?) Preparing the ground before the initiation of war I guess.
Snow in Brazil, below zero Celsius in the River Plate and tropical fish frozen
For a second day running it snowed Wednesday in Southern Brazil and in twelve of Argentina’s 24 provinces including parts of Buenos Aires as a consequence of the polar front covering most of the continent’s southern cone with zero and below zero temperatures.
Light snow storms in Brazil were concentrated in areas of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. O Globo network aired snow flakes falling in early morning, cars covered with a thin white coating and some roads dangerously slippery because of ice.
In Argentina the phenomenon extended to Northern provinces, geographically sub-tropical while in the Patagonia and along the Andes snow reached over a metre deep, isolating villages and causing yet undisclosed losses to crops and livestock. The extreme cold weather is expected to peak Thursday dawn with below zero temperatures and even lower with the wind chill factor.
6 million dead fish, alligators, turtles and dolphins floating down Bolivian rivers
Cruel aftermath of extreme cold in South America 3 Aug 10 – “Over 1 million fish (now updated to 6 million) and thousands of alligators, turtles, dolphins and other river wildlife are floating dead in numerous Bolivian rivers in the three eastern/southern departments of Santa Cruz, Beni and Tarija.
“The extreme cold front that hit Bolivia in mid-July caused water temperatures to dip below the minimum temperatures river life can tolerate. As a consequence, rivers, lakes, lagoons and fisheries are brimming with decomposing fish and other creatures.
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in this magnitude in Bolivia. Inhabitants of riverside communities report the smell is nauseating and can be detected as far as a kilometer away from river banks.
Argentina has colder winter than Antarctica, spurring record power imports
Argentina is importing record amounts of energy as the coldest winter in 40 years drives up demand and causes natural-gas shortages, prompting Dow Chemical Co. and steelmaker Siderar SAIC to scale back production.
Dow, Siderar and aluminum maker Aluar Aluminio Argentino SAIC are among companies closing plants, cutting output or seeking alternative energy sources after temperatures in parts of Argentina fell below those of Antarctica on July 15. Rising demand is exacerbating a shortage that began six years ago as economic growth accelerated and energy investment fell. The shortage is boosting costs as companies spend more to guarantee supplies.
“The situation is getting worse, because the shortage period is growing every year,” Gerardo Rabinovich, a director at the General Mosconi Energy Institute in Buenos Aires and an adviser to the opposition Radical Party, said in a telephone interview. “When this started in 2004, it lasted for about a week, then it was two weeks and now it’s more than a month.”
In July, temperatures in Buenos Aires were, on average, 1 degree Celsius below the usual low and high of 8 and 14 degrees (46 and 57 degrees Farenheit), with temperatures plummeting to about 2 degrees Celsius on July 15.
Also on July 15, temperatures in Mendoza, the wine- producing region in western Argentina, fell as low as -8.9 degrees Celsius below the temperature registered that day in the Argentine-controlled area of the South Pole, according to a national weather institute report.
Argentina is bracing for a renewed polar front this month. On Aug. 1, almost half of the country’s 23 provinces registered temperatures below zero, while the northern city of La Quiaca on the border with Bolivia fell to minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Another Huge Fish Die-Off in Brazil 6 million dead fish,
alligators, turtles and dolphins floating down Bolivian rivers
Cruel aftermath of extreme cold in South America
3 Aug 10 - "Over 1 million fish (now updated to 6 million) and thousands of alligators, turtles, dolphins and other river wildlife are floating dead in numerous Bolivian rivers in the three eastern/southern departments of Santa Cruz, Beni and Tarija.
"The extreme cold front that hit Bolivia in mid-July caused water temperatures to dip below the minimum temperatures river life can tolerate. As a consequence, rivers, lakes, lagoons and fisheries are brimming with decomposing fish and other creatures.
"Nothing like this has ever been seen in this magnitude in Bolivia. Inhabitants of riverside communities report the smell is nauseating and can be detected as far as a kilometer away from river banks.
Shortage of fish in markets
"River communities, whose livelihoods depend on fishing, fear they'll run out of food and will have nothing to sell. Authorities are concerned there will be a shortage of fish in markets and are more concerned by possible threats to public health, especially in communities that also use river water for bathing and drinking, but also fear contaminated or decaying fish may end up in market stalls. T
"In university fish ponds and commercial fisheries the losses are also catastrophic."
January 30, 2011 - CORONAL HOLE: A dark croissant-shaped hole has opened up in the sun’s atmosphere, and it is spewing a stream of solar wind into space. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of the vast opening during the early hours of Jan. 30th. Researchers call this a “coronal hole.” Solar rotation is turning the coronal hole toward Earth. The stream of solar wind pouring from it will swing around and hit our planet in early February, possibly sparking polar magnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras between Feb. 2nd and 4th. The coronal blast from the Sun storm’s arrival on Earth will coincide with a massive snow storm that will sweep across North America. - Space Weather
Dead birds are falling from the sky in Australia for the second time in seven months, raising fears of a possible public health threat.
At least 200 seagulls have been found dead in Perth's popular beachside suburbs of Woodman Point and Henderson this week, baffling local authorities.
Post-mortem examinations have failed to determine the cause of the birds' deaths. Last December 5,000 birds died in the coastal town of Esperance, 500 km south of Perth, after being poisoned by lead carbonate blowing through the town as it was being exported through Esperance Port.
The latest incident of dropping birds has led to a major investigation of local industries but government officials admit they are at a loss to know what is killing the gulls. A Department of Health spokesman admitted they could not rule out a risk to public health until the cause of the birds' deaths had been established.
When the Esperance birds began dying, tests showed that local children and adults had potentially dangerous levels of lead in their blood. A local company, Magellan Metals, escaped prosecution over the way it handled the transportation of lead through the town, but fears remain over the potential threat to humans.
The Department of Environment and Conservation (DoEC) believes the latest deaths may have been caused by a chemical or pollutant. The birds were found on Monday and Tuesday near water outfall pipes at Woodman Point, south of Fremantle and at nearby Henderson which has a large boat-building industry. Water and sediment samples have been taken from the area for testing.
Kevin Morrison, from the DoEC, said the birds appeared to die a quick and painless death.
"The birds, when they are showing signs of having been poisoned become a bit wobbly on their feet, they sit down and within 10 to 15 minutes they're dead," he told the Australian Broadcasting Coproration. He said it was particularly puzzling that the deaths were confined to seagulls. In Esperance, wattle birds, yellow throated miners and honey-eaters died.
Although many of the birds were found near the outflow pipes, Mr Morrison said the birds may already have ingested something toxic at a rubbish or landfall site before going there for water as they died.
The beach at Woodman Point, a popular sailing and fishing area, has been closed as a precaution until further notice. Officials do not expect the test results on the birds for a week.
Thousands of birds have fallen from the skies over Esperance and no one knows why.
Is it an illness, toxins or a natural phenomenon? A string of autopsies in Perth have shed no light on the mystery.
All the residents of flood-devastated Esperance know is that their "dawn chorus" of singing birds is missing.
The main casualties are wattle birds, yellow-throated miners, new holland honeyeaters and singing honeyeaters, although some dead crows, hawks and pigeons have also been found.
Wildlife officers are baffled by the "catastrophic" event, which the Department of Environment and Conservation said began well before last week's freak storm.
On Monday, Esperance, 725km southeast of Perth, was declared a natural disaster zone.
District nature conservation co-ordinator Mike Fitzgerald said the first reports of birds dropping dead in people's yards came in three weeks ago. More than 500 deaths had since been notified. But the calls stopped suddenly last week, reportedly because no birds were left.
"It's very substantial. We estimate several thousand birds are dead, although we don't have a clear number because of the large areas of bushland," Mr Fitzgerald said.
Birds Australia, the nation's main bird conservation group, said it had not heard of a similar occurrence. "Not on that scale, and all at the same time, and also the fact that it's several different species," chief executive Graeme Hamilton said. "You'd have to call that a most unusual event and one that we'd all have to be concerned about."
Environment officials are investigating why hundreds of dead penguins and other sea animals are washing up on Brazil's shores. The Institute of Environment and Natural Resources says 530 penguins, numerous other sea birds, five dolphins and three giant sea turtles have been found in coastal towns in Sao Paulo, the Folha Online news agency reported.
The institute says Sao Paulo University biologists and a wildlife research centre are looking into the possible reasons for the animal deaths.
Praia Grande authorities have ruled out pollution, saying preliminary investigations point to starvation as the cause. The most likely scenario for the penguin deaths is exhaustion and hunger during their long migration from the waters off Argentina's southern Patagonia region, according to Andrea Maranho, a veterinarian for the Sea Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Praia Grande.
Catastrophic collapse: More than three million colonies in America and billions of bees worldwide have died since 2006 The world faces a future with little meat and no cotton because of a catastrophic collapse in bee colonies, experts have warned.
Many vital crops are dependent on pollination by honeybees, but latest figures show a third failed to survive the winter in the U.S.
More than three million colonies in America and billions of bees worldwide have died since 2006.
Pesticides are believed to be a key cause of a crisis known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CDD), damaging bee health and making them more susceptible to disease.
But scientists do not know for certain and are at a loss how to prevent the disaster. Other potential factors include bloodsucking parasites and infections.
Some experts believe bees are heading for extinction.
The number of managed honeybee colonies in the U.S. fell by 34 per cent last winter, according to a survey by the country’s Agricultural Research Service, and some commercial beekeepers have reported losses of more than 60 per cent over a year.
In Britain, the latest report into the fate of the estimated 250,000 honeybee colonies is expected this month after losses of up to a third in the last two winters.
Bees are a critical part of the food chain because flowering plants depend on insects for pollination and the honeybee is the most effective.
It pollinates 90 commercial crops worldwide, including most fruit and vegetables – from apples to carrots – alfalfa for cattle feed, nuts, oil-seed rape and cotton.
A world without honeybees would mean a largely meatless diet of rice and cereals, no cotton for textiles, no orchards or wildflowers and decimation among wild birds and animals in the bee food chain.
Bees are worth £26 billion to the global economy, and £200 million in Britain.
‘Bees contribute to global food security and their extinction would represent a terrible biological disaster,’ said Bernard Vallat of the World Organisation for Animal Health.
U.S. scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, increasing fears that pesticides are a key problem.
The wipe-out of so many colonies has been dubbed ‘Marie Celeste’ syndrome because many hives have been found empty, with no sign of dead bees.
The British government’s National Bee Unit denies the existence of CDD over here, blaming the bloodsucking varroa mite and rainy summers that have stopped bees foraging for food.
Mysterious Bat die-off could have disastrous effect on ecology
Disease threatens some species with extinction; scientists remain baffled Some of the most common bat species in the Northeast are on the verge of extinction.
That's the grim assessment from wildlife biologist Jenny Dickson as White-Nose Syndrome continues into its fourth year of spreading its deadly reach further into hibernating bat populations. No sign of letup or antidote is in sight.
The speed with which the disease is decimating bat populations that once numbered in the millions is without comparison to any other wildlife decline in recent memory, Dickson said, and is likely to cause ecological changes that could affect agriculture, forestry and other wildlife.
"We're rapidly getting to the point of no return," Dickson, of the state Department of Environmental Protection, said during a news conference Tuesday. "Some of these species will go locally extinct this decade. This is an unprecedented decline in a wildlife population."
Using words like "catastrophic" and "massive die-off," Dickson described how the fungal disease has spread into Canada. It was reported for the first time Monday in bats emerging from caves in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains National Park and for the first time west of the Mississippi River, in Missouri. The syndrome is now documented in 11 states and two Canadian provinces.
This winter, Connecticut DEP wildlife biologists again surveyed caves and abandoned mines where bats hibernate. Three years ago, one of these sites housed 3,300 bats, but this winter included fewer than a dozen, Dickson said. All but one of the survivors had the telltale white fuzzy fungus on their noses and other parts of their bodies, she said. The story was similar at the other caves that were visited.
"White-Nose Syndrome continues to kill some of our most common backyard bats, including the little brown bat, the northern long-eared bat and the tricolored bat, but has spread to other species, too," Dickson said.
Dickson noted that bats reproduce relatively slowly - one pup per year - and live long lives of 15 years or more, and would be slow to rebuild. Scientists are baffled about what if anything can be done, she added, other than trying to arrest the spread west, then eventually reintroducing fungus-free bats back into the eastern states.
Dickson asked for the public's help in reporting to the DEP any summer bat colonies that may be roosting in barns, church bell towers, cliffsides or elsewhere. People should note any changes in the numbers of bats they see compared to previous years, or if bat populations that have historically come to a particular site do not return.
All this means that in the summer, when bats would normally eat tons of moths, beetles and other flying insects that damage vegetable and fruit crops and trees, the pests will go unchecked. In addition to the potential economic impacts on agriculture and forestry, the severe decline in bats "will have a major impact on the biodiversity and ecosystems throughout the U.S. and Canada for decades to come," Dickson said.
Bats also consume mosquitoes, although experts say they are not a major part of bats' diet.
The fungus, identified as Geomyces destructans, dwells in cold, damp environments and is genetically similar to a European fungus, research has shown. It is unclear exactly how the fungus came to this country - although scientists believe humans probably carried it to the caves somehow - or how it kills the bats. It has been observed that bats with the disease have irregular sleep patterns and use their fat reserves before winter ends, while they are still supposed to be hibernating.
White-Nose infected bats are likely to be thin and may have holes in their wings "and bats that can't fly can't feed," Dickson said.
Diana Weaver, spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's New England Office, said the agency is considering a petition to extend endangered species protection to two bat species that were already rare before the disease, the small-footed bat and the northern long-eared bat. The emergency petition, filed in January by the Center for Biological Diversity, also asked that all bat caves under federal control be closed.
"This is the worst wildlife catastrophe the country has seen since the extinction of the passenger pigeon," said Mollie Matteson, conservation advocate with the nonprofit center. "Without aggressive efforts to secure their habitat and stem further losses from all causes, including probable human transmission of the new bat disease, these bats may soon join the sad list of American species we know only from textbooks and museums."
In Europe, where research is also taking place, a similar fungus does not seem to have a major negative effect on bat species, Dickson said.
Hundreds of Snapper Fish Mysteriously Died in New Zealand by hardcherry
After America, Sweden and Brazil, New Zealand is now facing the same case of mysteriously died animals. The enigmatic case leads some people to say that it is one of the signs of the apocalypse. No one knows precisely how the phenomenon can happen.
According to New Zealand Press Association (NZPA), James Hughes, an Auckland resident, located the snapper floating near to the shore after children who were in his group ran to him while his hands were holding some of the dead fish. Hughes and others started to walk, heading to the spot that was reported by the children. They were surprised to find so many dead fish floating on the water.
Brendon Mikkelsen, the official of Ministry of Fisheries, reminded that the fish would be unsafe to eat because it had been in the water for more than 12 hours. The Ministry had sent a team to investigate the case. To deliberately dump snapper on the sea was an illegal action, but probably there would be another reason why the snapper died.
The New Zealand case took place after several cases of thousands of birds dropping dead out of the sky in Arkansas and Louisiana this week. Dead fish were also found in Arkansas. A dead fish mysterious incident was also found in Brazil.
A number of the carcasses have been sent to pathologists at the Scottish Agricultural College for autopsy.
Inspector Mike Brown, who is leading the police investigation in Norfolk, said: ‘The seals have suffered awful injuries which we believe are the probable cause of death and there is no indication that these were caused by disease or any type of predator.
‘We have been working closely with seal boat operators and local fishermen but we would like to hear from anyone else who may have information regarding these occurrences.’
Who, or what, is causing this carnage to our seals? Scores are washed up dead with horrific 'corkscrew' injuries For animal lovers, the sight is as heartbreaking as it is mysterious.
Scores of dead seals have been washed up on shore with terrible ‘corkscrew’ injuries, as if they have passed through a giant pencil sharpener.
Such is the concern that police, scientists, the RSPCA and National Trust are all investigating the disturbing phenomenon. The bodies of more than 50 common and grey seals have been found on the Norfolk coast since November.
Thirteen have so far been the subject of post mortem examinations, but most were so badly mutilated that they were of no help to those seeking answers to the mystery.
In Scotland, the problem is so bad that there are growing concerns over the survival of the common seal which, despite its name, is under severe threat.
In the Firth of Tay, seven were found dead in June out of a breeding population of only 150.
Eighteen further deaths have been reported in St Andrews Bay and the Firth of Forth in the past two months.
Callan Duck, senior research scientist at the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at St Andrews University, said: ‘We simply don’t know what is causing this.
This seal was washed up on Scotland's east coast. The severe injuries appear to be caused by a bladed device. Scientists have ruled out military craft, fishing nets and boat propellers.
‘We are finding seals coming ashore dead with these highly unusual lacerations right around their body like a spiral.
‘From their head down they can have one or two complete revolutions to their abdomen.
‘It is a continuous cut with a very smooth edge.’
The injuries are not consistent with any known phenomenon, such as those caused by fishing nets or boat propellers, although researchers believe they are mechanically produced by a rotating single blade.
While seals have learned to be wary of approaching boats and tend to swim away from them, researchers believe it is possible the animals are being sucked into the propeller blade of an as yet unidentified vessel.
But the investigation has failed to find any kind of offshore machinery capable of producing such wounds.
Researchers in Canada, where similarly injured seals were recovered a decade ago in the Gulf of St Lawrence, blamed Greenland sharks. They can grow up to 20ft and are the Arctic’s most fearsome predator, even l inked to at tacks to polar bears.
But Mr Duck said it was unlikely that sharks could be responsible for the deaths of the British seals.
‘We would expect a seal that has been bitten by a shark to have teeth marks on it. This is a single, very clean cut with no evidence of sawing.’
Populations of common seals have been devastated in recent years.
In 1988 and again in 2002, outbreaks of the phocine distemper virus resulted in losses in British waters of up to 20 per cent. Grim discovery: Many of the lacerated seal carcasses have washed up on the coast of St Andrews Bay and the Firth of Forth Numbers have been recovering slowly since then. Once the cause of the mysterious injuries is established, scientists hope to work with ship designers to find ways of limiting the damage caused.
Professor Ian Boyd, director of the SMRU, said: ‘This investigation is important because these deaths come on top of significant declines observed in some Scottish common seal populations.
‘SMRU welcomes any reports from the public of dead seals being washed ashore.’
Richard Lochhead, Scottish minister for rural affairs, said: ‘Seals form an important part of Scotland’s rich marine environment and it’s critical that we establish the cause of these strange seal deaths and do all we can to protect our seal populations.’