Recent great lakes bird deaths

Posted on November 26, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The likely cause:
How birds become exposed to botulism, Cooley explained, begins with a bacteria called clostridium botulism. This bacteria thrives in water with low oxygen levels producing a toxin that can get into sediments. Invasive species like quagga and zebra mussels filter the sediments and pick up the bacteria which they pass onto other aquatic life like round gobies which eat the mussels. From there, birds eat the fish.

http://www.petoskeynews.com/articles/2007/11/24/news/news04.txt

death toll high for Great Lakes birds

As a conservative estimate of the total shoreline distance between these endpoints is roughly 350 miles, potentially 7500 birds have potentially perished within this region alone…


The top five species that we have documented [deaths of] are Common Loon (508), Long-tailed duck (505), White-winged scoter (207)…

The most notable Common Loon among our discoveries was a banded adult from Seney NWR who had been monitored for 14 years and during this time produced 17 chicks, including one this season. His discovery stands as the first evidence that a portion of the very high Common Loon numbers represents birds breeding in Michigan, where the species remains a threatened species…

Carcasses from a wide variety of bird species collected along the lake have tested positive for botulism E at the Michigan DNR’s Wildlife Disease Lab. This current outbreak on Lake Michigan follows a trend of increasing botulism-related mortality on the Great Lakes; only Lake Superior has thus far remained exempt from the problem.

More about botulism E here:

http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/habitat/avian-botulism-faq.html

Carcasses from a wide variety of bird species collected along the lake have tested positive for botulism E – at the Michigan DNR’s Wildlife Disease Lab.
http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,1607,7-186-25805-75891–,00.html

Another ballast water gift. Will Congress ever slam the door on the sickness introduced by oceangoing vessels whose owners can (and must) shoulder the cost of stopping invasive species?

Comment and link from David Dempsey The Great Lakes Blogger

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: