The Birds and the Bees and the Fish too– Worldwide Wave of Mass Deaths Rocks Animal Kingdom
We’re not saying that any of mass die-offs in the animal kingdom over the last week are related to each other, and we’re not trying to raise any undue alarm. But we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the stunningly large number of mass wildlife deaths making headlines across the globe.
It started out with a massive fish kill that saw around 100,000 of the dead creatures scattered along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River last weekend. This was followed by thousands of blackbirds dropping dead from the sky just a hundred miles away in Beebe, Arkansas. Two days later, 500 more dead birds fell over Louisiana, 300 miles to the south of Beebe. Last night, hundreds of dead birds were found lying on a bridge in Texas. Authorities say they know why this happened; water birds that do not fly well were struck by cars and trucks on the bridge. Scores of dead birds were found littering a highway in central Sweden today as well.
Now it’s the fish who are dying to make headlines again. Thousands of dead mullet, ladyfish and catfish died in the Spruce Creek in Volusia County, Florida yesterday, washing up and causing a horrible odor and a storm of buzzards and pelicans who are gorging on the all-you-can eat seafood buffet. Witnesses say it’s the worst fishkill they’ve ever seen. In Brazil, at least one hundred tons of dead fish– mostly sardines, croakers, and catfish– have turned up in the southern state of Parana. Seafood sales have been suspended, and the fishkill has threatened the livelihoods of thousands of local fishermen. Today in Great Britain, 40,000 crabs as well as starfishes, crabs, anemones and lobsters washed up dead on the Thanet shoreline of England. Large numbers of dead fish have also been reported in New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Maryland and on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Not to be outdone, up to 96% of four different species of bumblebees have recently died off. The four species have historically had some of the largest and most widespread populations in the bee world, but for some unknown reason their numbers and range have been dramatically reduced. Scientists call the decline “alarming.”
Tagged animal die-off, Arkansas River, Australia, Beebe Arkansas, Brazil fish kill, bumblebee die-off, Chesapeake Bay fish kill, fish kill, Florida, Haiti and Dominican Republic, Lousiana, Maryland, New Zealand, Parana, Spruce Creek fish kill, Sweden, Texas, thousands of dead birds, Wales