Sunday, February 22, 2015

DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

February 22, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Grebes struggle as Great Lakes freeze over

A stranded grebe. © Lynn Chamberlain

Animal rescue workers in southern Ontario are struggling to keep up with an influx of injured grebes, a species of waterbird that's fast running out of splashdown spots as the Great Lakes freeze over.

Grebes are smaller cousins to the loon, and spend their entire lives in the air or on the water. But with more than 80 per cent of the Great Lakes covered in ice, grebes are having a tough time finding open water to land in during Ontario's deep freeze. That's forced some grebes to touch down on solid ground, where they lack the ability to walk or take flight again.

"If the grebes land on land, they're dead," said Gail Lenters, who operates the Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, located north of Toronto, near Lake Simcoe.

"They can't move, they can't get around, they can't fly. They're the term 'sitting ducks.'"

WATCH: Cold weather freezing birds to death.

Lenters says grebes migrate south from the Arctic to spend their winters on the Great Lakes, where water at the centre of the lakes typically does not freeze. But that open water did freeze this year, and grebes are having a tougher time finding somewhere safe to come down.

She adds that grebes will fall out of the air or come to ground out of exhaustion because they are not used to flying such long distances in search of water.

That's what's happening to grebes on the shores of Lake Ontario, where rescue organizations like the Toronto Wildlife Centre find themselves taking in several injured birds on a daily basis. The TWC declared itself in the midst of a "grebe-mageddon" earlier this week.

Ice on the Great Lakes has also become a problem in Windsor, Ont., where animal rescuers and fire crews worked to free 20 geese, ducks and swans trapped in the ice on Lake Erie earlier this week. Several other birds were found dead on the ice.

Lenters says the Great Lakes don't typically freeze this much, though there was a similar deep freeze last year. She expects the ice cover will remain until March.

In the meantime, anyone who finds a trapped or injured bird is asked to call the nearest animal rescue centre for help. - CTV.

800 dead Olive Ridley turtles found on Odisha coast, India

The Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha's Kendrapara district, considered to be the largest rookery of the endangered Oliver Ridley turtles, has turned into a mass graveyard of these endangered species as hundreds of carcasses were spotted ashore. Around 800 Olive Ridley turtles were found dead along Barunei, Pentha, Satabhaya, Gahirmatha, Babubali river mouth and other places during the ongoing mass nesting season by February 15, a forest department official said.

However, unofficial estimates put the toll over 5000, raising concern among environmentalists.

As informed by Rajnagar Mangrove (Forest) and Wildlife Division DFO Bimal Prasanna Acharya, that there have been reports of several Olive Ridley turtles lying dead along the beaches.

During this time, the south wind blows fiercely as a result tens of thousands of female Olive Ridley's climb ashore to lay eggs. Due to this strong wind, dead turtles were seen along the beaches from Habalikhati to Chinchiri, a Satabhaya villager said.

Meanwhile, green activists have alleged that the endangered species are dying in large numbers due to illegal trawling at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary as the forest officials have failed to check the fishermen from catching fish inside the prohibited zone.

As of now, as many as 25 trawlers have been seized and at least 189 fishermen have been arrested for illegal trawling and venturing into prohibited regions during the ongoing mass nesting season of the turtles, a forest department official said.

Notwithstanding the forest department prohibiting fishing within 20 km radius of the sea coast, over hundreds of trawlers have been seen fishing in the restricted zone near Satabhaya.

Notably, the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, protected under Schedule 1 of wildlife Protection Act, 1972, die after being trapped and entangled in the nets of mechanized fishing during the mating season.

It may be recalled that Olive Ridley turtles were also found dead along the Devi river mouth at Astaranga to Kushabhadra river mouth at Ramchandi in Puri district owing to illegal trawling recently.

The mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles were first witnessed along the 10 KM coastline of Gahirmatha beach for the first time in 1975. As the mating season along the coast continued thereafter, it was accorded the status of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in 1997 as the first marine sanctuary of the state.

Following granting of marine sanctuary status, it was declared a no-fishing zone in 1993 under the Odisha Marine Fishing Regulation Act-1981. The Act prohibits fishing within 20 km radius of the sea coast. Besides, seven laws have been framed and strictures have been passed by Supreme Court of India for protection of these endangered species. - Odisha Sun Times.

Mystery surrounds the death of 20 mute swans in Chester-le-Street, UK

Mystery: At least 20 swans have been found dead. © PA

At least 20 swans have died mysteriously of illness or poison on the river Wear in Chester-le-Street, Co Durham, in the last month.

The RSPCA has asked the public to be vigilant after swans died on a stretch of river in the past few weeks.

It is unclear whether the birds that live on the River Wear in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, have been being deliberately or accidentally poisoned, or if they have succumbed to natural illness.

There are about 100 swans on that section of the Wear which passes through Riverside Park, and it is popular for children to feed the inquisitive swans.

A sign which was put up some time before the recent spate of deaths asked the public not to feed the birds mouldy bread as it is poisonous to swans.

But it was not clear whether that was the cause, and tests will be carried out.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Michelle Charlton said: "Just over 20 swans have been found dead, or so sick that they've had to be put to sleep, on the river in Chester le Street over the past few weeks.

"Calls started coming in about them in January and RSPCA officers have picked several up over the past few days.

"Tests are being conducted on the birds but at the moment we have no idea what the cause is, whether it's the result of a deliberate act or a naturally occurring illness.

"Obviously we are very concerned about this and are working with The Swan Trust, vet practices Cestria Vets and Robson & Prescott Vets in Morpeth, Defra, the environment agency and the police to try to find out what the cause is.

"We'd like to appeal to the public to be vigilant, and if you come across anything that you think might be being dumped into the water to contact us." - Daily Mirror.

Snowy Owl seen in Hungary for the first time since 1891

Snowy owl. © Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society/József Mészáros and Dénes Laczik

A snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) has been photographed in Hungary's southern Baranya county for the second time since records began, the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society has said. The only previous occasion the cold-loving animal has been spotted in Hungary was in 1891.

The owl was photographed at the settlement of Bóly in Baranya county, after which bird-watchers from the ornithological society travelled to the scene to verify the sighting. Subsequently, several observers arrived to the area and a large number of good-quality photographs were taken.

Snowy owl. © Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society/József Mészáros and Dénes Laczik

Sightings of the snowy owl in Central Europe are extremely rare. The animal, native to the subpolar tundras of Canada, Alaska and Eurasia, ventures to the south because of the grim weather of its Northern habitat and the consequential lack of food. Further information on the bird spotted at Bóly is needed to verify its origin.

The only previous recorded sighting of the snowy owl took place in November 1891 near Újszász, southeast of Budapest. - Hungary Today.

Wrong place, wrong time: Rare hooded oriole seen in Charlotte, North Carolina

A big part of finding birds is being in the right place at the right time. When the birds show up, you have to be there. Last Friday, local birder John Brammer looked out his window and saw a large yellow bird that he did not recognize. He had the presence of mind to snap off a series of great photos for the next 15 minutes. Then the bird departed.

Local birders pored over online photos of immature male orioles (there are not all that many, by the way), and identified it as a hooded oriole, a bird native to the Southwest and Pacific coast.

Though the bird was not seen at all the next day, eight birders gathered at the residence for more than five hours on Sunday in hopes of catching even a glimpse of the far-ranging visitor. I set up a folding chair with a clear view of the feeders and for nearly four hours I watched more than 40 species fly by - a brown creeper, hermit thrush, pine siskins, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, yellow-bellied sapsucker, Eastern bluebirds, red-shouldered hawks, pine warbler, yellow-rumped warblers, an American woodcock and more. But not one of them was a hooded oriole.

So the bird did not keep the appointment. He probably did not know he was supposed to hang around. He was eager to continue his whirlwind tour of the Eastern United States, I suppose. Or maybe he is still in the area.

The hooded oriole is a first for the state record.

- Charlotte Observer.

Rare Arctic gyrfalcon located in Ulster County, NY

Gyrfalcon. © D. Bruce Yolton

I went up to Ulster County, NY to see the Gyrfalcon that has around for a few weeks. The bird, which depending on the day has been easy to find or hard to find, was very cooperative today.

WATCH: Rare Arctic gyrfalcon located in Ulster County, NY.

In addition to the Gyrfalcon, I was able to photograph a Short-eared Owl. Definitely worth driving for four hours! - Urban Hawks.

Couple attacked by their pit bull in Costa Mesa, California

A couple's dog was taken by Costa Mesa animal control officers after severely biting both of them Friday evening in Costa Mesa.
© Southern Coubyies News Service

A Costa Mesa couple was attacked by their own pit bull Friday evening, authorities said.

The couple was driving their pit bull through a shopping center in Costa Mesa on their way to Huntington Beach when the dog turned on them.

Authorities said the couple both sustained serious injuries. Witnesses said both were bitten repeatedly in the arms.

The attack occurred just before 7 p.m. in the 1100 block of Victoria Street.

The husband was driving, his wife was a passenger. They said the dog attacked inexplicably.

KCAL9's Stacey Butler said the attack occurred in the couple's SUV.

Firefighters tried to restrain the pit bull after the attack.

During the attack, the wife was able to call 911 while the husband pulled into a parking lot. The husband jumped out of the vehicle and the dog followed, continuing to attack the man.

Police said when the woman tried to coax the dog back into the car, the dog turned on her as well.

"All the police cars, a fire truck with its lights on. An ambulance. I was here when Animal Control came," said witness Yasmine Mason, "and they took the dog away."

The dog, reports Butler, was taken to an Orange County animal shelter. - CBS.

Thousands of dead fish found floating in the Ganges, India

Thousands of dead fish were found floating in Ganga at Dhabka Nullah and Dasheshwar Ghat in Jajmau on Friday. Experts attributed the death of fish to oxygen crisis in river water. However, neither any official from district administration nor from pollution control board visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

In absence of police, locals had a free run carrying away dead fish in baskets. Kids were found carrying away large fish, a few weighing over several kilograms.

A few locals informed the police but no official turned up at the site. Jajmau is the hub of leather tanneries. Recently, power supply to 98 tanneries of the area was snapped and forcibly shut down on the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) for flouting norms and polluting Ganga. The death of fish has once again brought the issue of Ganga's pollution to the forefront.

This is not the first instance of fish dying in Ganga. On several occasions in the past fish have been found dead in the river. In fact, a large number of fish had died in Sher Shah Suri pond in Jajmau too.

Locals who reached the site claimed that a number of small to large sized tanneries located in the area discharge affluents into the river leading to the death of fish. Others claimed that several big and small nullahs release in the river thus reducing the oxygen in water. This forces the fish to die.

A few other rued that they had informed the police about the incident but nobody turned up.
- Times of India.

Thousands of dead crabs wash ashore on Balboa Island, California, United States

Tiny red crabs washed up in Balboa Island in Newport Beach on Saturday,
Feb. 21, 2015, some dead, some alive. Aaron Roth, 3, shows off his catch.
Daniel Stringer had an idea after eying the little lobster-like crustaceans that washed ashore on Balboa Island.

“I’ll get the barbeque,” said Stringer, who has lived on Balboa Island for 47 years and has never seen the small crabs like the ones that showed up Saturday. “I like mine with butter.”

Thousands of mini crabs - which actually look like tiny lobsters or craw fish - created a rim of red along the shoreline, scattered on the sand along the sleepy seaside of Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Most washed up dead at high tide, but some were still alive and swimming near the shoreline.

Passerby stopped to marvel at the unusual sight, some people coming to the aid of the ones that still looked like they had some life to them.

The Pleuroncodes planipes, also known as pelagic red crabs or tuna crabs, showed up during the last king tide event - when tides are especially high - at the end of January.

But then, as quick as they showed up, they disappeared - until Saturday morning, when they came in by the thousands. Another king tide event, which only happens a few times each year, showed up again this week, though its unclear whether the two incidents are related.

Experts say the crabs - which are about 1-to 3-inches long - haven’t been seen in the area for decades, and said it’s the warm water that has been lingering near 60-degrees that brought them here. They normally life in Baja California, according to Register archives.

Balboa Island resident Brian Cummings and son Chandler, 9, spent the morning picking them up, one by one, and tossing them back to the sea.

“We try to throw back as many lives ones as we can ... We try and look for the bright red ones to throw them back in the water,” Brian Cummings said, picking one up and tossing it into the water, where it simply floated upside down.

When asked if he wanted to eat them up, Chandler looked skeptical.

“They probably don’t have any meat on them,” he said.

Visitor James Gutierrez, of Pomona, was fascinated by the sight.

“You don’t realize how much sea life is out there until you see something like this,” he said.Aaron Roth, 3, had just one word to describe the sight: “Cooool.”

Resident Michael Brennan knew all about the crabs, doing as much research as possible after the last ones washed ashore about a month ago.

“They swim backwards,” he said to a group gathering near the shore.

The pelagic crabs are the latest in a year of odd sightings along the coast caused by unusual warm water experts say are signs of El Nino. A variety of whales like orcas, sperm and humpback have shown up in high numbers, along with odd sightings like hammerhead sharks and whale sharks in the area.

Other sightings like a glow-in-the-dark organisms called pyrosomes washed ashore in September, and before that a blue, jellyfish-like creatures known as “By-the-wind sailors,” invaded the coastline.A wahoo - normally found in Mexico - was reeled in by fisherman in August, and anglers are still catching yellowtail of the coast, which are usually scarce during this time of year. - OC Register.

3,000 birds have died due to another outbreak of avian flu in Katsina State, Nigeria

A man selling live chickens waits for customers in
a local food market in Nigeria’s commercial
Avian Influenza, a.k.a. bird flu , has hit some poultry farms in Katsina leading to the death of over 3,000 birds.

Alhaji Musa Danhassan, the Vice Chairman, Katsina State Poultry Farmers Association, confirmed the outbreak of the disease to Naija247news in a phone chat from Katsina on Friday.

Naija247news also reports that the outbreak of the bird flu occurred at Abukur village in Rimi local government area of the state.

Danhassan said that the farm of one of their members, Alhaji Garba Dalhatu was affected by the outbreak and the last the man lost over 3,000 birds.

He said that specimen from the affected birds have been taken to the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State, where it was confirmed.

The Vice Chairman disclosed that their association had reported the outbreak to both the state and federal ministries of agriculture about the outbreak of the disease.

NAN investigation revealed that officials from the Department of Veterinary Services of the state Ministry of Agriculture had visited the affected farms where they carried out total elimination of the affected birds.

The investigation further revealed that another backyard farm at Tudun-yanlifidda, belonging to one Hajiya Zainab Muhammad, has also been affected by the bird flu.

The woman poultry farmer lost over 300 birds on Friday morning.When contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Garba Sanda, confirmed the outbreak. - Naiija247.

Thousands of dead fish found in the Uraguay River in Argentina

 "It was after 3000, all between 750 grams and a kilo and a half," he assured some "were still gasping and others had already died," said one of the fishermen.

"It's the first time we found many dead shad, there are days that is one or two, but we never had this happen to find thousands of dead fish on the beach," he added.

Felipe Galli said the death was between "former railroad laundry cages and about five hundred feet below the street May 25" attributing it to "any chemical which certainly threw rail" and encouraged the thesis Brazilians who had previously responsible rail "polluting products used to wash cars."

"The worst he added Galli- there is now a quarter of the fish had yesterday, I estimate that about 2000 were removed by families living near here and took them to eat, but were told that if they died for something would be and that were possibly contaminated, but nobody wanted to ignore until a truck loaded with fish and were happy but this said, "can have health consequences for those who ingest".

The slaughter was very great, do not know who produced it and nobody investigates the fact.
A similar situation was experienced yesterday downstream area Benito Legerén.

Hundreds of dead fish were found on the coast and began to decompose on heating and flies that invaded the place. Most corresponds to the kind of shad of different sizes that were affected.

Locals called it a "environmental disaster" and expect that bodies such as the CARU provide explanations of what is happening with the shad that make up the fish fauna and longer food for the families of fishermen.

However a theory, it arose from strong odors that occurred yesterday near the waterfront, a few weeks ago means the city of Salto complained that the refrigerator The Caballada, currently owned by foreign capital shed effluent into the river, from its plant in the southern coastal sister city without proper treatment.

The theory says Legerén neighbors such as tarpon feeding on sediment and mud, perhaps dead birds were fed the plant residues left in the bottom of the river and constant streams of the usual and surprising water evacuations Salto Grande, southern reach Concordia, more precisely Benito Legerén.

Are all theories; but the truth and reality is that residents are very concerned about this situation and the health of our river and those who through him are fed.
- La Voz. [Translated]

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