Common Murres dying in record numbers from Alaska to California
Baby seals dying of leukaemia
Dolphins found dead with radiation poison
Fish dying by the million
Record whale deaths along with sea otters and seals
Cesium-134 the fingerprint of Fukushima found to be 50 times higher along the west coast
Die-offs of Common Murres have been taking place across Alaska since Summer and the latest report is from Kachemak Bay, according to biologists with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge in Homer.
Wildlife Biologist, Leslie Slater, says there have been two waves of mortality.
"This die-off started to be noticed, around mid-July in certain parts of the state.
And so it continued at some level, a fairly high, noticeable level for a couple weeks and then it seemed to diminish and then there seemed to be resurgence again of the number of carcasses that we were seeing on beaches, and that happened in mid-November or so," Said Slater.
There have been die-offs reported of the penguin-like sea birds in Cold Bay in July and in Kodiak in November.
In November starving and dead Murres turned up around the Mat-su and Anchorage areas, farther inland than usual.
"It seems that then they would either be disoriented, which could be the result of ingesting a toxin or they could be very desperate in searching for food and just kept travelling up the inlet," said Slater. Seabird die-offs have been recorded all along the west coast of the U.S. in Washington, Oregon and California this year.
Slater estimates that a large number of Murres have died around Kachemak bay.
"Based on the duration of the time that we've had carcasses being reported to us, I would say, it's into the thousands, certainly, throughout Kachemak Bay," said Slater.
An unusually high number of dead and dying sea otters have also been found in the Kachemak Bay area near Homer this year. See here
The dead Murres are being counted by citizen and scientists all along the Spit and along the beach up to Anchor Point.
"They've been doing this for several years and so there's been a baseline established of what we would consider being a normal winter and so far, it's been at least six times the normal background amount that's been observed," said Slater.
Slater says the citizen scientists mark the Murres with color-coded zip ties around a wing or foot and if you see a bird with a zip tie she says you should not disturb it because it's part of a study.
And anecdotal reports of Dead Murres and other birds are coming in from across the Bay.
They've also had reports of some dead tufted puffins, horned puffins and an ancient murrelet.
She says the birds, along with Murres, feed on small fish or dive to get invertebrates during summer and dive for squid, crustaceans and krill during winter.
Slater says Murre carcasses were sent to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin where bird flu was ruled out.
The dead birds seem to have starved, but Slater says there could be other factors.
"There are analysis that are pending.
So it could be something that had to do with PSP, like paralytic shelfish poisoning that was ingested at some point, but that is still unknown," said Slater.
Results from those tests should be back in January.
That's also when Biologist, Heather Renner, with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge will be presenting a paper on the Murre die-off at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage.
In August many baby seals were reported to be dying of a leukaemia-linked disorder along the California coast
And a report the same month claimed seventeen dolphins found mysteriously beached near the site of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have died from radiation-induced heart damage, a scientific analysis has suggested.
In April 2015, scientists from Japan's National Science Museum conducted autopsies on the beached dolphins.
They found that nearly all of them had lungs that were entirely white, indicating a condition known as ischemia - that is, loss of blood to the organs. The animals' internal organs showed no signs of infection or any other disease.
"I have never seen such a state," the chief researcher said. Full story
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have just released a report showing higher levels of Cesium-134, the so called finger of Fukushima have been detected off the US west coast. Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation coming across the Pacific to the west coast of the US from the stricken nuclear plant Fukushima have reported finding increased levels of radiation along the coast from Alaska, Canada and all the way down to southern California.
Mr Buesseler who lead the investigation claims the water is still safe enough to drink However, it turns out the The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
have been funded with 8 million dollars from several government agency's. Full story
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