August 16, 2011


Avian Botulism May lead to Extreme Bird Deaths around Alberta, Warn Experts

Outbreak of avian botulism will result in extreme bird deaths around Alberta lakes, warned the experts. The disease is already blamed for bird deaths on Utikuma Lake, north of Lesser Slave Lake, and Pakowki Lake as well as south of Medicine Hat. However, the carcass has not appeared to cause any deaths among humans.

The warmer weather of month has contributed enough to provide feasible environment for the outbreak along with formation of blue-green algae blooms on lakes. In addition, the algae decomposition is likely to produce a toxin capable of affecting fish and birds and in some cases may also distress humans. Consequently, the government has placed warnings in areas where water quality becomes unsafe.

“With heavy rain falls and shallow lakes, there is a bacteria that creates the botulism toxin and it can get into insects”, notified Darcy Whiteside, Spokesman for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. “The birds eat the maggots and then it builds up and basically kills the birds. The numbers of deaths can get pretty high, into the thousands in some of the larger lakes”.

The French Tribune -
13 Aug 2011
N Sachdev
Location: Utikuma Lake, Alberta, Canada
- Map It
Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada - Map It
Pakowki Lake, Alberta, Canada - Map It
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada - Map It

Malaria claiming more British birds

Twenty years ago few British species showed regular signs of infection but now some 30 types are infected, monitoring projects have found.

The problem is linked to a rapid growth in mosquito populations, which is attributed to a rise of about 1C in global average temperature. The proportion of house sparrows infected has risen from less than 10 per cent to 30 per cent, according to Laszlo Garamszegi, of the DoƱana biological station near Seville in Spain.

Telegraph -
14 Aug 2011


Officials investigate whether Pearl River fish kill is linked to paper mill

Dead fish lined the banks of the Pearl River at Poole's Bluff near Bogalusa Saturday. Tiny catfish gasped for breath at the surface. Other vital wildlife, including mussels, turtles, and eels, had washed ashore.

It's something L.K. Jones has never seen here before. "The water's black, black as paint, dead fish floating everywhere, it's unreal," said Jones, who lives nearby.

Neighbors noticed a film over the river several days ago. Saturday morning, the dark, foamy water proved deadly."I run three nets this morning, tuck 'em up, they had at least 200-250 pounds of dead fish per net, no live ones at all," said Freddy Lawrence, a longtime Washington Parish fisherman.

Now, multiple agencies from Louisiana and Mississippi are investigating. The source of the dark liquid appears to be a pipeline a few miles upriver. The water color, and quality, officials say, changes drastically downriver from the pipeline. And one can see the dark liquid bubbling up beneath the surface.

15 Aug 2011
M Hernandez
Location: Pearl River, Louisiana, USA - Map It


Fish kill attributed to white-spot disease

Thousands of fish were found dead in Cape York's Normanby River recently, including an estimated 1000 barramundi, many of which were reported to be over a metre in length.
Following tests conducted by the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) the cause of the mass fish kill is white-spot disease.

According to, DERM had confirmed the reports of up to a thousand fish floating in the river near Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park. Witness reports had further estimated numbers of dead fish to be in the tens of thousands, and were mostly barramundi and jewfish.

Fishing World -
15 Aug 2011
Location: Normanby River, Queensland, Australia - Map it


West Nile Virus