Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why are We Poisoning Our Planet?

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Dead dolphins washing up on shores of Maryland
by: J. D. Heyes
Friday, August 09, 2013
(NaturalNews) Environmental damage and an increase in toxins caused by human activity are believed to be responsible for a dramatic uptick in dolphin deaths along the East Coast this year, experts say.
In Maryland, seven bottlenose dolphins have recently washed ashore, "part of a larger mystery along the Mid-Atlantic coast, where alarmed scientists are working to find the cause of more than 120 dolphin deaths since June," the Baltimore Sun reports.
All seven dolphins were discovered in the Chesapeake Bay and on beaches along Maryland's Atlantic cost during the month of July, the paper said.
Normally, say marine biologists, only a single dolphin might be found dead and washed up on shore during July.
Increase in dolphin deaths up and down East Coast
Cindy Driscoll, veterinarian and fish and wildlife health program director for the state Department of Natural Resources, said several of the carcasses that have washed ashore were "very decomposed" when they were found, which made it difficult to figure out why they died. State officials, however, have sent several tissue samples to labs in a bid to gather more information.
Thus far, scientists believe large toxic algae blooms or some sort of virus might be responsible. Per the Sun:
Dolphin deaths have been reported this summer from New Jersey to Virginia, with the greatest numbers in those two states. The total count troubles scientists, who are waiting on lab results to determine whether it is, indeed, a crisis.
"It is alarming since it's much higher than normal and in such a short amount of time," Jennifer Dittmar, the stranding coordinator for the National Aquarium in Baltimore, told the Sun. "As far as an overall effect it's having on the population, it's hard to tell right now."
Driscoll said that in Maryland, 15 dead dolphins have been discovered ashore since January. Normally, in a year, only about 10 or so wash up.
Down the coast in Virginia, the numbers of dolphins washing ashore is also much higher. So far, 87 of the mammals have been found since June; in a normal year, some 50 dolphins wash ashore, most of them grouped around Virginia's portion of the Chesapeake.
Further north, in New Jersey, 21 dolphins have washed ashore, up from about a dozen or so in a regular year.
"Bottlenose dolphins live in pods and can be found along the East Coast from New Jersey to Florida. The mammals spend the winter in the temperate waters off the Southern states, then come north to the bays, sounds and open waters off the Mid-Atlantic coast from May to October," the Sun reported.
Dittmer said that, in Maryland, pods of as many as 30 dolphins follow schools of fish far up the Chesapeake. She also said her job is to rescue stranded dolphins, but so far this year, none that have washed ashore have been found alive.
A virus linked to biotoxins?
What's more, it could be months before scientists and marine biologists have any answers. Necropsies - the veterinary equivalent of autopsies - are currently underway on mammals that have been found. But finding a cause of death takes a great deal of time. And it could be even longer to find out if there is a link between them.
Susan Barco, the research coordinator for the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Foundation, told the paper that early findings indicate some sort of sickness. If that turns out to be the cause of death, she says it would be significant.
"This is really frightening because these animals are sentinels of ocean health," she said. "Strandings have been much more common in the past few decades, and we think it's an indication of the health of our ecosystem."
It's also likely that environmental factors are in play, scientists say. Specifically, the accumulation of heavy metals or exposure to biotoxins through the food dolphins consume could be causing widespread mortality.
Sources:
http://www.baltimoresun.com
http://www.wired.com
http://www.wavy.com
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Mysterious Mass Animals Deaths in Review
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More than 25,000 bumblebees fall from Oregon sky due to insecticide poisoning
by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Saturday, June 29, 2013
http://www.naturalnews.com/041004_Oregon_bumblebees_mass_death.html
(NaturalNews) Shoppers at a local Target store in Wilsonville, Oregon, just outside of Portland were shocked recently to step outside the big box depot into a sea of already dead and dying bumblebees. As reported by KATU.com news, more than 25,000 dead bumblebees were found littered around the store's parking lot during National Pollinator Week, a direct result of European Linden trees located in planters throughout the same parking lot having been sprayed with a highly toxic insecticide known as Safari.European Linden trees produce luscious flowers that are rich in both nectar and pollen, which is a major draw for bumblebees and other pollinating bees during bloom season. And these same trees, which are plenteous in the Wilsonville Target's parking lot, are a major destination for local bumblebees who feed on their nutrients and help pollinate other plants.
But the property manager of the strip mall where the Wilsonville Target is located apparently had other plans for these bees, as he or she reportedly ordered that all the trees be sprayed with an insecticide chemical known as Safari, even though it is currently bloom season. According to the information page created for Safari by its manufacturer, Valent Professional Products, Safari is a broad-spectrum insecticide that kills all sorts of insects, including bees.
"To our knowledge, this is one of the largest documented bumblebee deaths in the Western U.S.," Rich Hatfield, a conservation biologist at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (XSIC), is quoted as saying in a recent press release. "It was heartbreaking to watch. They were literally falling out of the trees."
European Linden trees improperly sprayed with chemicals during pollination season
Hatfield and his colleagues collected bee samples from the Target parking lot on June 19, and later analyzed them to determine their cause of death. According to XSIC Executive Director Scott Hoffan Black, indiscriminate use of Safari was clearly to blame, as the chemical is never supposed to be sprayed during pollination season.
"It seems a landscape company did not follow label directions as [Safari] is not supposed to be sprayed during bloom," Dan Hilburn, Director of Plant Programs at the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is quoted as saying by RT.com. "We now assume this is the cause of the massive bee die-offs. Lots of bees still dying -- almost all bumblebees."
Reports indicate that ODA has also collected its own bee samples to test for pesticide exposure. ODA officials have since stated that they have never seen anything like this as far as bee deaths are concerned, and that the event is particularly ominous as it occurred during National Pollinator Week, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiative that takes place annually from June 17-23.
"I've never encountered anything quite like [this] in 30 years in the business," added Hilburn.
Some local residents claim bees were deliberately murdered
Meanwhile, many local residents are outraged about the incident. Even though ODA is in the process of determining the next appropriate course of action to protect the remaining bees, which may include covering the trees with nets or applying bee repellant, some in the community are demanding answers, including an explanation from the property manager about the sprayings."This was not a 'die-off'; it was a mass murder," commented Rozzell Medina on the KATU.com article. "If anyone is interested in helping others to organize an onsite memorial for these murdered bees in the next couple of weeks, please join the Facebook group Wilsonville Bees Memorial."
You can access this Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/508224285917370/
Sources for this article include:
http://www.katu.com
 
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Also See:
Mysterious Animal Deaths!
08 January 2011
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