Bird mortality, toxins and West Nile Virus
lavatera at w-link.net
lavatera at w-link.net
Tue Jun 5 15:39:51 PDT 2001
Someone sent this to me but did not include the URL. I thought it
might be of interest.
> from THE RECORD - TROY, NY., dated June 3, 2001 and entitled:
> KILLING BIRDS by Michael Gormley -- Associated Press.
> DELMAR -- In the fever to test for the West Nile Virus,
> up to 250 birds a day have uncovered a surprise: More birds are
> pesticides, herbicides and lead.
> "There are all kinds of side benefits to the West Nile look,"
> wildlife pathologist Ward Stone. "West Nile isn't going to be
> numbers, but these other numbers will continue to grow."
> In the state fiscal year ended March 31, the basement laboratory
> Five Rivers Environmental Center outside Albany identified 1,263
> carrying West Nile Virus.
> During the same time, 1,953 birds were identified as dying of
> pesticides like Dursban, a chemical banned by the U.S.
> Protection Agency; and Diazinon, which the EPA ordered taken off
> market in two years. Lead poisoning is often from the birds
> that ingested fishing sinkers or carrion killed by lead shot or
> Stone said some are cases in which chemicals were overused on
> in buildings, some are intentional poisonings, but many are the
> birds eating smaller prey with high levels of the material.
> "I was rocked," said Audubon New York's William Cooke of Stone's
> findings. "I had no idea. I don't think anyone did."
> Audubon New York, with 52,000 members, plans radio public
> announcements and a public education program this summer as a
> the data. Cooke urges people to continue to report all dead
> a toll-free state number (866-537-2473) to keep tracking West
> incidents as well as deaths from toxins.
> "If they're whacking birds, I think it's reasonable to assume
> doing a job on butterflies and others," Cooke said. "What is it
> our kids?"
> Allen James, president of the national chemical association
> Industry for a Sound Environment, said his group is "sad to hear
> applications are improperly used."
> "There are certain pesticide products if improperly used could
> death of a bird," he said.
> But James added that the producers of chemicals targeting pests,
> and rodents use labels with instructions on the safe application
> doses. In addition, the industry in recent years has developed
> of certain color, size and texture that make them unattractive
> Indoors, products are being made that can be applied away from
> animals without becoming airborne.
> James also warned that science can detect small amounts of
> and that detection doesn't necessarily mean the product was
> "The technology of pesticides is improving dramatically," he
> there are extreme limits to how these products are used now."
> In New York, the rising trend in toxic deaths is taking
> important species like crows, pigeons and vultures, as well as
> and popular birds such as starlings, great horned owls,
> and loons, as well as the bald eagle that recently made Stone's
> It was found near death in the Dutchess County town of Pine
Plains at a
> hunt club. The large adult male vomited everything
rehabilitators fed it.
> The eagle, part of an extraordinary Hudson Valley comeback of
> nation's symbol, died extremely dehydrated with feces and bile
> its plumage. The liver had 31 parts per million of lead, more
> times the lethal level, according to the May 30 report.
> The report was one of 10 final determinations made at the lab in
> days of death by toxins. They included a great horned owl found
> Ulster County town of Bearsville with high levels of chemicals
> kill rodents.
> West Nile testing also led to the May 7 determination that a
> found dead on a North Hempstead lawn on Long Island died from
> by Chlordane. That pesticide used against termites and lawn
> also blamed for the death of a Cooper's hawk in Syracuse in
> Nile testing also identified a new form of botulism that killed
> of birds from Lake Erie.
> "It's more than ever, and it's increasing," Stone said. "The
> Copyright The Record 2001
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