January 11, 2008

More Dead Swans Found Along Fleet
Daily Echo: Dorest Echo - www.thisisdorset.net
11 Jan 2008
L Morris
Area: Abbotsbury, Dorset, England
Photo courtesy of Daily Echo/Samantha Cook

Two more dead swans have been found along the Fleet after the bird flu outbreak. But staff at Abbotsbury Swannery say there is no cause for alarm.

. . . Three mute swans found dead at the Abbotsbury swannery near Weymouth were on Thursday (January 10) confirmed to have had the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. In the monitoring area there will be restrictions on the movement of poultry, captive birds and hatching eggs except under licence and increased biosecurity measures for premises, people and vehicles.

. . . Defra is working closely with wildlife experts to consider whether further measures may need to be taken. The local wild bird population is being monitored, but culling has been ruled out because it could disperse birds further away.

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At start of pollination season, beekeepers worry about colonies
The Mercury News - www.mercurynews.com
10 Jan 2008
J Barbassa

When beekeeper Dave Ellingson shook his head in frustration over the mystifying disorder that's struck his hives, he got sympathetic nods from a tightly packed audience of fellow keepers concerned about the health of their working insects.

"Hive after hive after hive—and what did I do wrong?" he said Thursday at the American Beekeeping Federation's National Beekeeping Conference. "It's springtime in Texas, the best time for gathering pollen, and those bees went right down the tube."

It's something all keepers dread, especially at this time of the year when beekeepers sign contracts with farmers: opening up a previously healthy hive and finding it empty, the brood and queen mysteriously abandoned by the worker bees.

But the phenomenon, a condition called colony collapse disorder, is striking hives nationwide and still stumping scientists, researchers and farmers.

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Humans Blamed in Coral Reef Disappearance
DiscoveryNews - dsc.discovery.com/news
09 Jan 2008
Area: Caribbean
Photo courtesy of Discovery News

The world's coral reefs are in alarming decline, but what -- or who -- is most to blame?

A groundbreaking study published Wednesday singles out human settlement, especially coastal development and agriculture, as the main culprit, even more so than warming sea waters and acidification linked to global warming.

The study focuses on the Caribbean, where declining reefs are endangering species of wildlife as well as tourism and fishing that are vital for the local economy, says lead author, Camilo Mora, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

"The continuing degradation of coral reefs may be soon beyond repair if threats are not identified and rapidly controlled," he said.

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Widespread geese deaths at Saylorville investigated
DesMoinesRegister.com - www.desmoinesregister.com
09 Jan 2008
Area: Saylorville Lake, Polk, Iowa, USA

State wildlife biologists expect to learn later this week what killed dozens of geese in the past week south of the Saylorville Lake dam.

Lake workers have collected 80 dead Canada geese and found another 20 that show signs of serious illness, officials said.

Guy Zenner, a wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said the cause could be lead poisoning, a bacterial disorder called fowl cholera, or illness caused by fungi on corn the geese ate.

The die-off at Saylorville is considered a relatively minor case, Zenner said. "We haven't had a major waterfowl disease event in Iowa since the 1990s," he added.


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