Birds are dropping dead in New Mexico, potentially in the 'hundreds of thousands'


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  9 months ago  •  6 comments

By:   Ben Kesslen

Birds are dropping dead in New Mexico, potentially in the 'hundreds of thousands'
Birds are dropping dead in New Mexico, potentially in the "hundreds of thousands," and wildlife experts are concerned.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Wildlife experts in New Mexico say birds in the region are dropping dead in alarming numbers, potentially in the "hundreds of thousands."

"It appears to be an unprecedented and a very large number," Martha Desmond, a professor at New Mexico State University's department of fish, wildlife, and conservation ecology, told NBC's Albuquerque affiliate KOB.

New Mexico residents have reported coming upon dead birds on hiking trails, missile ranges, and in other locations.

Birds in New Mexico are mysteriously dying in large numbers.Allison Salas 

In a video posted by Las Cruces Sun News, journalist Austin Fisher shows a cluster of dead birds he discovered while on a hike on Sept. 13 in the state's northern Rio Arriba County.

"I have no idea," Fisher says in the video, as he pans the camera to reveal what appears to be dozens of birds lying dead on the ground.

Desmond said it is difficult to say how many birds are dying, but that there have been reports across the state. "I can say it would easily be in the hundreds of thousands of birds."

Multiple agencies are investigating the occurrences, including the Bureau of Land Management and the White Sands Missile Range, a military testing area.

"On the missile range we might in a week find, get a report of, less than half a dozen birds," Trish Butler, a biologist at the range, told KOB. "This last week we've had a couple hundred, so that really got our attention."

It's unclear to scientists why the die-off is occurring, and Desmond said it's possible it was caused by a cold front that hit New Mexico last week or by recent droughts.

Desmond also told KOB the deaths could be related to the wildfires in the West. "There may have been some damage to these birds in their lungs. It may have pushed them out early when they weren't ready to migrate."

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said on Twitter that "not much is known about the impacts of smoke and wildfires on birds."

Scientists are asking the public to report sightings of dead birds to an online database, and that people safely collect the dead birds so that researchers can study them more closely.


jrDiscussion - desc
Split Personality
PhD Principal
1  Split Personality    9 months ago

Well. I used to breed all sorts of birds but particularly finches

and smoke and bad air was a definite killer.

Raven Wing
Professor Principal
1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Split Personality @1    9 months ago
smoke and bad air was a definite killer.

They have said that the smoke from the many brush fires on the west coast can now be seen on the east coast. So it would definitely be a threat to birds of all kinds. We may see far more birds dying by the thousands in other states as well across the country. Hopefully there will be enough left to make their migration to safer locations soon. 

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Split Personality @1    9 months ago

I'm hoping that is the reason. The old canary in a coal mine kind of thing. If it is a virus, then we all know how that can play out. 

Still, birds dropping from the sky is rather disturbing. 

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.2    9 months ago

At least it wasn't frogs.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  Buzz of the Orient    9 months ago

Perhaps when we get the results of autopsies (if they can do them on birds) rhere will be more information about the cause.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    9 months ago

They can and I am sure that they will make sure that this isn't something that can spread. Birds are a huge part of the ecosystem so it's very important to find out what's going on.


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