Massive Death Connections PT6
April 21st, 2011-New England-A record number of critically endangered right whales are crowding the chilly waters off Cape Cod, Mass. Researchers counted more than 100, and possibly as many as 200, animals during aerial surveys on Tuesday, the Boston Globe reported, a number that could represent nearly half the entire known right whale population that remains on Earth. Right whales, one of the rarest kinds of baleen whales, are teetering on the brink of extinction. Only about 450 to 500 North Atlantic right whales are thought to remain on the planet. Charles “Stormy” Mayo, senior scientist at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown told the Globe the whales are as close as a few yards offshore to about a quarter-mile out, and said he expects the marine crowd to remain in the area for at least another week. The right whales are gathered for a feeding frenzy on zooplankton, tiny, rice-sized crustaceans the baleen whales strain into their massive mouths. Mayo said it’s likely the record number of whales showed up this year because the waters are particularly rich with plankton this year, in much the same way that, on land, some years are better for crops than others.
April 21st, 2011-Australia-A phone call to the Ridge News on Tuesday morning alerted us to the amount of European Carp fish in a dam at Big Warrambool. There are thousands and thousands of dead fish on the water and line the banks metres deep. It is a mystery why they have all died, but a Lightning Ridge local fisherman suggests there is not enough oxygen in the water for the amount of fish. There is still an amazing amount of fish with their mouths out of the water, they will probably also die. These fish must have been washed down in flood water and have been left behind in the dam as the waters have dried up.
April 18th, 2011-UK-Residents in Pangbourne and parts of west London have been warned to steer clear of a toxic caterpillar. The Forestry Commission has issued a caution not to touch the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth. Their hairs contain a toxin that can cause itchy skin rashes as well as eye and throat irritations. The Forestry Commission’s Stewart Snape said residents can report sightings but that the caterpillars should only be removed by pest control operators. Officials are now dealing with outbreaks of the moth in Pangbourne in West Berkshire and the London boroughs of Ealing, Brent, Hounslow, Richmond upon Thames and Hammersmith & Fulham. Health Protection Agency director Dr Brian McCloskey said: “We strongly advise people not to touch or approach the caterpillars or their nests because of the health risks caused by the toxin-containing hairs.
April 18th, 2011-Ventura Harbor — Hundreds of fish have been found dead in Ventura Harbor. This is the second large fish kill in Southern California this year. This time, hundreds of dead fish are floating in Ventura Harbor. The phone calls started coming into the Ventura Harbor Patrol around 6 a.m. Monday. Boaters were already noticing a large number of dead fish floating in the water. One officer said that in the past year, there have been three or four times that this has happened, and in recent days, he was worried that this was going to happen again. Once again, something’s fishy along our Southern California coastline: Another fish die-off, this one in the Ventura Harbor.
April 18th, 2011-California-Two dead dolphins that washed up on the shores of Newport Beach on Sunday appear to have died from domoic acid, a poison that can be deadly to large sea mammals and birds. Mike Teague, animal control officer for Newport Beach, said experts at the Natural History Museum are also reporting that dead dolphins have also washed up in Los Angeles County. On Sunday, an adult dolphin washed up at 15th Street in Newport Beach, and another at 61st Street later that afternoon. He said the domoic acid seems to affect male species. The symptoms include floppiness, dizziness and tremors; the acid can cause brain damage.
April 15th, 2011-Vermont USA- Massive Fish Kill in Lake Champlain-Quite a sight along the shores of Lake Champlain– there’s been a massive fish kill. Alewives have washed ashore at the sandbar in Milton. Vermont Fish and Wildlife biologists estimate that tens of thousands of the nonnative species have died due to stress caused by frigid temperatures. Ice fishermen have been noticing Alewives popping through the ice in recent months. Now that the ice is melting, they’re washing ashore. They’ve also been spotted in Georgia, Vt.
April 14th, 2011-New Zealand-A thick swarm of small, hairy, fatty critters are invading homes all over South Canterbury in plague proportions. Cluster fly season has returned with a vengeance, leaving weary homeowners vacuuming daily and battling with sprays to keep the thousands of mites from taking over their home. David Curry, of Timaru-based company The Exterminator, said the phone had been running red hot. He described it as plague proportions. Cluster flies, named because of their ability to communicate with each other using a scent to summon themselves into clusters, were plaguing the whole district, mostly in rural areas, he said. “I’ve been to Geraldine and I’m down in Waimate doing some now,” he said yesterday. The first signs of cluster flies began a month ago. “Because they come en masse, it’s hard to control them all. “They’re just everywhere. It’s just unbelievable where they’re getting in.” When they would disappear depended on the weather, he said. The recent warm autumn days, where the flies fill buildings looking for a place to hibernate, meant the problem could last for some time.
April 13th, 2011-India-A man died and four others suffered wounds after they were stung by a swarm of wild bees at Aska, about 40 km from here today, police said. Kala Krushan Swain (35) was attacked by the bees while he was going to a local temple. He died on his way to hospital. Four passers-by were also stung and they were hospitalised.This was the third incident in two months in Ganjam and Kandhamal districts where three persons died in wild bee attack.
April 13th, 2011-Parts of Indonesia are under siege by swarms of hairy caterpillars, which are getting into homes and causing skin rashes, according to local news reports. “The caterpillars are very disturbing. They crawl into the house and make our skin itch for days. They have long hairs,” a Jakarta resident identified as Nurhayati told the Jakarta Globe. A caterpillar swarm was first reported in East Java two weeks ago, according to the Globe, and new swarms have been observed in Bekasi, West Java, and Buleleng, Bali. The caterpillars are targeting the leaves of mango trees in Bali, according to a Bali Times report. Bali agricultural chief Made Putra Suryawan said Wednesday that authorities there are spraying insecticide and burning garbage to stop the spread of the insects, according to an Agence France Presse report on kompas.com.