Dead birds, fish kills update: 1,000 turtle doves fall from sky in Italy
The ongoing reports of dead birds and fish is continuing to make headlines in the UK and around the world.
On Friday evening, the Daily Telegraph posted a headline story on the latest mass animal kill story. It detailed the 1,000 turtle doves that fell from the sky in Italy. The turtle dove incident happened in the town of Faenza in northern Italy. This latest bird kill was the largest number of mass animal kills in Europe, as previously reported, 50 dead birds were found in Sweden earlier this week.
Click here for this updated story: Dead birds, dead fish update: Experts accused of cover-up after animal deaths
Should be be alarmed about the recent cases and are the connected?
The consensus among scientists is no and no.
In an article posted online Saturday in the Wall Street Journal’s Web site Saturday, Paul Slota, spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., which has been tracking mass animal deaths since the 1970s. told the paper that mass animal kills are not uncommon.
“In the last 10 years we have logged 188 cases just involving birds with mortality exceeding 1,000 animals per event,” the USGS expert told the WSJ.
See also the Associated Press video on the left. Other experts echoed that opinion to the AP.
More evidence is surfacing every day that the reports of massive dead birds and fish that were found in Arkansas, Louisiana, Nashville, Tennessee and overseas in Sweden, Brazil, New Zealand and the UK are not unusual. Thousands of dead crabs washed on shore in England but UK authorities say that cold weather is most likely to blame.
The USGS says mass animal kills happens regularly in nature and some of the deaths could also be related to toxins and loud noise produced by man. The mass bird deaths in Arkansas are thought to be the result of loud noise from New Years fireworks.
You can read the USGS report for yourself in this link.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that the 2 million dead fish that were found in Maryland may be the result of unusually cool weather.
“It’s colder than it’s been in 25 years,” Dawn Stoltzfus, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of the Environment told the Post. “That’s terrible news for the (fish). In 1976, 15 million were killed during a cold snap”
The BBC is also debunking the conspiracy theories which blame the dead birds and fish on everything from BP to a sign from God. One biblical scholar, Harold Camping, has predicted the end of the world will be on May 21, 2011. That has caused more to suspect that the bird and fish kills could be a precursor to the apocalypse. Some have jokingly called it the “aflockalypse.”
The BCC concludes, “But experts insist that what is going on is pretty common and that the incidents are unconnected.”
Could we be hearing more about mass bird and fish kills because there is more reporting of the kills in the media?
Yes. Whereas dead fish washing up on a shore in New Zealand might not ordinarily make worldwide news, it is making news because of the other cases. It may be a bit of a snowball effect. More cases of dead birds and dead fish get reported because more cases of dead birds and dead fish are being reported. The Internet, including Facebook and Twitter, have meant that more people are reporting on incidents that otherwise would go unreported.
According to the Associated Press, massive kills happen on the average of every other day somewhere in North America. But there is generally not a tendency to link them together as there have in these most recent cases.
Suggested by the author:
- Dead birds, dead fish update: Could the mass deaths be a case of over-reporting?
- May 21, 2011 will be the end of the world, Oakland biblical scholar says
- May 21, 2011: Harold Camping first predicted end of world for 1994