Monday, January 3, 2011

2 news stories about massive wildlife deaths in Arkansas. Connected?

(Update Jan.5, 2011: Scientists struggling to explain massive worldwide wildlife deaths)

One of the first stories that caught my eye this morning was about a massive fishkill along the Arkansas River. Weird thing about it is only one species of fish died, the drum.  Of course, this happened a couple states downstream from where the river runs through my hometown of Wichita, KS - nevertheless, it makes me wonder what the cause may be.

Minutes after coming across that story, however, I'm accosted by another headline from the Washington Post about wildlife dying in droves in Arkansas.  In what seems like an aviary version of the ill-fated ABC drama FlashForward, more than 1,000 blackbirds just seemed to have dropped dead.  (Edit 4:20pm CST, 1.3.2011 - although initially reported to be 1,000 redwing blackbirds, the numbers have been changed to 4,000 to 5,000 birds.) 

Could it just be coincidence?  Hardly likely.  Reason suspects a connection.  And why drum but not small-mouth bass?  Why blackbirds but not robins?  Such large numbers dead, but only a single species in each case.  How is it possible that 5,000 birds of only one species died together in one little section of Arkansas?  Thousands of fish die in one section of the Arkansas River, but only ONE species of fish. 

It's all very weird.  I'd like to thank TV News Lies for bringing both stories to my attention.  I hope they'll pass along a connection to the events if one is found.

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