Once again thousands of dead seabirds are washing up on Alaska shores.

By |2019-10-23T06:59:43-08:00October 24th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |6 Comments

Definitely not a good thing.

Courtesy of Focusing on Wildlife

The first reports came in May. They were sparse, but enough to put seabird-monitoring coordinator Hillary Burgess on edge. “Here we go again,” she thought. By late June, almost every time she checked her inbox, yet more news of washed-up seabirds on the Alaskan coast greeted her.

Volunteers had collected nearly 9,200 seabird carcasses by early September—and those are just the bodies found washed ashore. Kathy Kuletz, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife biologist, estimates the total number of deaths may reach in the hundreds of thousands.

Historically, mass seabird die-offs have been occasional events in Alaska, but for the past five years, they have occurred annually.

This year, as the carcasses continued to pile up, a few new trends became clear: The die-offs were more geographically widespread and lasted for a longer period compared to previous years, and they largely targeted Short-tailed Shearwaters, although dead puffins, murres, and auklets—the main victims in recent years— have also been found.

Scientists say the most obvious explanation for the consistent die-offs since 2015 is warmer ocean temperatures. However, despite years of tracking efforts and study by numerous organizations, much remains unclear, including what exactly has triggered each year’s deaths and why different species are affected in different years.

What scientists do know is that seabirds, as well as other marine wildlife, have been starving.“Basically, the birds are not eating anything,” says Bob Dusek, a wildlife biologist at the National Wildlife Health Center. Necropsies from previous years show more than 80 percent of examined seabirds died of emaciation or starvation, and initial results this summer point to the same in most locations.

The deaths are likely directly linked to the lower numbers of fish now in Alaska waters, and that of course is tied to global warming. 

We may not think about it very much but the survival of the human species is greatly impacted by the survival of life in the sea.

We ignore these signs at our own peril. 

About the Author:

This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies, and holding our politicians and leaders accountable when they fall far short of the promises that they have made to both my fellow Alaskans and the American people.

6 Comments

  1. Old Redneck October 24, 2019 at 3:51 am

    Noted environmental scientist and world-renowned ornithologist Donald Trump knows what’s killing the birds: Wind turbines. You know — those turbines that generate electricity, that are driven by huge blades turned by the wind. Birds run into the blades and die by the millions. At least that’s what noted environmental scientist and world-renowned ornithologist Donald Trump says.

    So there’s that to consider.

    • Anonymous October 24, 2019 at 4:52 am

      Didn’t he also point out that wind turbines cause brain cancer? Maybe that is his problem, all those wind turbines off his golf course in Scotland has caused his brain cancer.

    • AnonCO October 24, 2019 at 5:12 am

      Maybe the birds are suffering from windmill cancer also, too. Only other possible cause is mass suicide because they missed “The Birds” on TCM, again due to windmills.

  2. Harley October 24, 2019 at 4:52 am

    I wonder how many of these birds have stomachs full of plastics.

  3. anonymous October 24, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Breaks my heart. 😢

  4. Karen A Johnson October 24, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    I can believe the seabirds starved to death.

    Here on the north Oregon coast, we have a mated osprey pair who have nested every spring and summer in downtown Seaside next to Neawanna Creek. Most years they’ve produced anywhere between one and three live hatched chicks, and this year they produced three. But by June all three chicks had starved to death, because — unlike previous years — apparently the parents couldn’t find enough food for them. One problem that might have contributed was that the male had apparently come in contact with a fishhook (in a fish he’d captured?) and the hook was embedded in his chest, causing him enough pain to prevent frequent flights to feed the chicks. Eventually he flew off, abandoning the nest and his mate after the second chick died. https://www.dailyastorian.com/news/local/popular-osprey-cam-in-seaside-captures-losses-at-nest/article_74823d68-a1b3-11e9-acb5-efced8738d27.html

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