Mass Animal Deaths and Their Causes

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A Million Yield a Few Shining Stars

A million tiny just-released infant octopi filled the underwater scene on the TV screen. In the voice-over accompanying the image. The voiceover lamented:

Octopus, Octopus,

Your babies are dying.

This was included in one of the shows from Jacques Cousteau aboard his Calypso. The topic of the program was wildlife under the sea and its variety of reproductive methods and results. A million babies - or so it looked - were live-born, because in the octopus system, so few survive. We need these millions in order to gain a few more octopi in the ocean ecological landscape.

Calypso - John Denver

Daily, millions of human sperm die and few people think much about that.

Many brain cells die as a matter of course in each person every day -- Little thought of that occurs. Human egg cells are sloughed off regularly, but gain greater attention than sperm or brain in the mythology surrounding the Biological Clock.

True, some women discontinue childbearing years earlier than others, and without control; however, the phenomenon of a monster clock ticking in the bedroom like the Telltale Heart of Edgar Allan Poe is overstated.

Some less sensitive souls claim it ticked more loudly when American women were awarded additional public assistance money per each child born into that system.

For some women the clock ticks loud and louder, but some women hear no clock at all and eggs disappear.

Overprotection Can be Deadly

Regardless of the life form, Earth generally has many more individuals than is required to keep each species viable, except for endangered and threatened species.

Helping endangered ones can backfire at times. For example, in the New Jersey area of the late 1980s, a breed of goose became endangered and legislation passed to protect it from hunters. In a few years, the open lands and green spaces of the area were grazed down to the dirt by the protected birds, with severe soil erosion the result. Other wildlife was affected negatively, some migrating and some dying off in the area.

In other areas, some elephants are threatened while elsewhere they proliferate.

Considering possible results, when should we worry about animal deaths en masse?

Source
Captain Nemo and the octopus from "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' by Jules Verne.
Captain Nemo and the octopus from "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' by Jules Verne.

Too Many, Not Enough

Herds of animals and plots of plant life are culled by a nature beyond our control. When you hear of such natural culls, do not be alarmed. Yes, the animals may be cute and the plant life attractive, but they die and become food for others. They prevent starvation of other species without endangering the existence of their own. It is disconcerting to watch, but natural all the same. When these animal and vegetable creatures die en masse by unnatural means - that is the common-sense cause for alarm.

I wonder what happens to all the salmon that die immediately after spawning at the end of their annual uphill battle to reproduce? I hope bears and other larger wildlife eat them. They may be inedible. Those that are not eaten, I hope are gathered and used as natural fertilizers as our First Nations did in history.

I hear nothing about the dead salmon every year; it's a natural occurrence. Circle of Life and all that. Perhaps birds on the other hand are to live forever? Are birds more like people, some being pets and able to talk, and therefore more noticeable in death? Or perhaps the public does not know about the dead fish at the end of the line of salmon life.

This brings to mind the assertions that fish, birds, and reptiles are all very closely related. Perhaps they are so - In that case, perhaps they are all culled naturally every year. A television news announcer in January 2011 stated that the dogs and cats of Arkansas had a good snack when the year-change bird fall occurred. This is better than total waste of the bodies in my opinion, provided the birds were not diseased.

Larger Numbers than Usual

This group of December 2010 - January 2011 cullings is the largest kill-off since the beginning of the the available log provided by the US government on April 1, 2010 (see link below). The latest entry found when accessed on January 7, 2011 is just below.

Current Events of Concern to the General Public

12/31/2010 to 01/01/2011 in White County, Arkansas.

Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, European Starlings. Trauma is the suspected killer of 3000 reported by the USGS NWHC, AR Livestock & Poultry Lab.

By January 7, media were reporting at least 5,000 birds killed.

These are large numbers, the next largest on the list dating back to April Fool's Day 2010 being only 1,500.

Each Saturday's Columbus Dispatch includes a syndicated column advising readers of odd natural occurances: beached whales, bats flying by daylight in droves, birds dropping from the skies, schools of fish migrating to waters where they have not previously been seen, dead volcanoes regurgitating lava once more, etc. I think the lists of events are becoming more interesting and more unusual.

show route and directions
A markerWhite County AR -
White County, Arkansas, USA
[get directions]

B markerLouisiana -
Pointe Coupee Louisiana, USA
[get directions]

C markerKentucky -
Kentucky, USA
[get directions]

D markerChesapeake Bay -
Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA
[get directions]

E markerQuebec City -
Quebec City, QC, Canada
[get directions]

F markerSweden -
Sweden
[get directions]

G markerItaly -
Italy
[get directions]

H markerEngland -
England, United Kingdom
[get directions]

I markerFolly Beach SC -
Folly Beach, SC, USA
[get directions]

Birds in Missouri

Multiple Culls

In addition to the Arkansas 1,000s of birds dying as if by trauma, 1,000s of drumfish washed up on the banks of the Arkansas river, dead, and in another part of the American South - Louisiana - 500 birds died soon after; Folly Beach SC experienced 1,000s of dead fish. Another report stated that many fish died in Chesapeake Bay soon after the Arkansas-Louisiana events. Then dead birds invaded Kentucky. So many culls east of the Mississippi within a week's time creates an unual series of events. And dead birds hit Sweden and Italy (700 turtle doves), while 1,000s of crabs washed up dead on England's shores.Then 80 dead pigeons hit Quebec. It does not seem natural when combined globally.

We do not hear of mass animal, fish, and bird deaths every New Year's Day. We do however, hear about conspiracy theories, the ushering in of new religious eras and such every New Year's. A renewal of the fervor over a 2012 world-ending event has arisen and the word Apocalypse has been spoken by many people. However, some religious leaders of TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) have told the media that they don't think it is the end of the world, but only a natural phenomenon. It still does not seem natural, being so widespread.

NASA Looks at Magnetic Pole Activities as Cause

NASA has more than a dozen Earth science satellites in orbit. They help NASA study the oceans, land and atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA
NASA has more than a dozen Earth science satellites in orbit. They help NASA study the oceans, land and atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA

Changing Magnetic Fields

"It's a fact that the Earth's magnetic field reverses its poles every 500,000 years, I believe, and apparently we're due. Scientists don't know how fast this geological event happens or even the consequences, but apparently animals such as birds and fish use the field so they know where they're going, so maybe this could be one possible consequence of the reversing poles." -- Comment about the Quebec birds made by Vince.

A 500-Year Cycle Of Pole Shifts

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source

Related to this, the Chinese, Koreans, and other Asians have historically explained the magnetic poles as Yin-Yang energies and White Tiger / Blue Dragon (holding the Earth in place). The two beasts change positions in the sky every 500 years in order to begin a new learning cycle.

In December 2010 and January 2011, a change in magnetic poles would be in the presence of higher sunspot activity than previously existed for many cycles [see Sunspots and Sun Song].

One fact that does not jibe is that all of the culls have been in the Northern Hemisphere only, which is nearer the sun in winter, yet tipped away from it. What of the Southern Hemisphere? Wouldn't a change in magnetic poles affect life in both hemispheres?

No mass deaths have been reported from the Southern Hemisphere to date. Another solution is that something is occurring in the Northern Hemisphere alone to cause animal deaths. Exactly what, if such be the case, is as yet unknown.

Magnetic Pole Reversals @ Nasa.gov. Science@NASA

Full story at http://www.es.ucsc.edu/~glatz/geodynamo.html (Gary Glatzmaier)
Full story at http://www.es.ucsc.edu/~glatz/geodynamo.html (Gary Glatzmaier) | Source

Notice in the right-hand graphic how twisted and tangled are the north and south magnetic polar fields. Tangled enough to result in animal navigation problems and culls? How about people - does the reversal affect their behaviors or life spans?

Magnetic North

The Earth's magnetic north pole since 2011 is drifting into Russia at a rate of 40-some miles per year.

Tampa's airport had to close down and change signage to be in order with the shifting north pole. This was required to keep aircraft pilots' navigation compass readings on point. It is thought that the last magnetic polar shift that flipped north and south magnetic fields occurred 780,000 years ago (according to the information at the above link). This could confuse birds in flight or as they awakened and were dislodged from trees where they slept by some incident either natural or man-made.

Scientists are examining the bodies of all the groups of dead animals to determine cause of death. In Italy, the turtle doves might have been poisoned by sunflower seed overeating at the sunflower oil factory. The Folly Beach SC fish (Menhaden fish, which are used for bait) may have died of hypothermia. A full report on all sites will be intriguing.

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Comments 25 comments

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I think it's fascinating to live in a time when the magnatic poles may be flipping. It's the legends of the White Tiger and Blue Dragon in scientific terms coming to pass. 'Once in a million years' is about right. I don't like all the animals dying, but I want to know what happens next.


Tinsky profile image

Tinsky 5 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

Patty thank you. I found your article very interesting especially the aspect of the reversing poles. It will be interesting to hear what the official scientific reports have to say when they get handed down, though it may take some time before they have any conclusive evidence. I was just watching The Young Turks on You Tube who have also have an interesting segment on the recent animal deaths and also the mass bumble bee deaths in the USA. It stated that a 101 page EPA memo showed conclusive evidence that bumble bee deaths are being caused by the use of a pesticide on corn seeds. The pesticide is banned in many other countries due to its known risks.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

I agree, I found this interesting and bookmarked your hub to share with my husband. He has been saying for years that the poles may be shifting.

Thanks for all the information and links. I wonder what will come next...


Baileybear 5 years ago

any idea how long pole-flipping takes? There's some termites in the northern part of Australia called magnetic termites - they make termite nests in flat slabs.

Some mass bird deaths reported were a few years back that I looked at


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

It's scary and wonderful at the same time. Even humans have to die and if this is a world changing event, it's exciting to be a witness to it!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Howdy Patty - What I like about this "magnetic poles of the earth" article is its accuracy and its questioning attitudes. Nice.

Gus :-)))


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

It is a fascinating time to be alive.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I think it is a fascinating time also, but the thought of 500 birds dying all at once, or any of the other example you stated is a bit disconcerting, I think there is much about nature we don't understand and I think we have done a lot of damage also by introducing species of animals in various areas of the world where they never lived before. It will be interesting to hear what scientist have to tell us over the next few years. Excellent hub, rated up.


susannah42 profile image

susannah42 5 years ago from Florida

It is quite interesting and wonderous. I hate all of the animals dying.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Great comments, so thanks to everyone for reading!

@Baileybear - I don't know how long it takes to flip magnetic poles, but the Magnetic N. Pole has been moving into Russia at a rate of 40 miles a year for some time and at some point, it will flip to the south - the Earth will nto turn upside down, but the magnetic poles will switch and our compasses will read differently.

I don't think the Magnetic North and South Poles will ever stick out of the Equator, but will move (N. one way and S. the other, and at some point, flip completely). The physical poles also bobble around a small circle so the entire question can be confusing.

Asian legends say 500 years to flip, scientists say either 500,00 or more; but no set time period is written anywhere. The Earth is a little farther from the sun every year, because of the expansion/spreading out of the Solar System, and I do not know that effect on the question, either.

At the same time according to some scientists, these and other natural acts make the Red Sea actually separate in two once every so-many years and we have not seen that in over 4,000 years; but I'd like to see it.


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 5 years ago from Michigan

I do not like the animals dying either. If it's natural, best to leave it be. If not natural, I too would like to know why and hopefully, it is because of a shift change and not one of those things that 'man' is in control of. An interesting read. Good one!! Voted/rated.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Yes I do believe that nature has its own way of trying to keep balance. I get irritated at extreme environmentalist who know less than I do(which isn't much) who want to control nature that they don't understand.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Patty, this is an absolutely magnificant article. I have kdearned so much from it. Thank you for doing all this research.


Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 5 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

This hub is so interesting I read it twice.


Shahid Bukhari profile image

Shahid Bukhari 5 years ago from My Awareness in Being.

The only certainty in Life ... Is Death ...

All the rest, is Co-Incidental !

Life and Creation are Finite ... you forget, the Decay of Sub Atomic Particles ... countless Trillions, Born, and other countless Trillions dying ...every Second !

In ... The Infinite Wisdom, of The Creator.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

People are looking for and collecting reports of dead animals-in-groups now.

01/20/2011 -- 200 dead cows in Wisconsin, from pneumonia.


Tinsky profile image

Tinsky 5 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

I just watched a news article on The Young Turks about a "secret" usda government program called, "Bye Bye Blackbird" which encourages mass poisoning of birds to protect farming. It took a month for the government to advise that a mass poisoning of birds in South Dakota was because of the program. It would be interesting to find out more about the secret Bye Bye Blackbird program and whether its related to other mass bird deaths.


GDiBiase profile image

GDiBiase 5 years ago from Portland, ME

Very interesting hub, indeed!


Glen619 profile image

Glen619 5 years ago from Camden, New Jersey

Nice interesting hub, was really freaked out with the reversal of the poles. Thanks for sharing the info


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Cool,interesting hub,thanks for sharing.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah

Very interesting.


natures47friend profile image

natures47friend 4 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

Great hub. Fascinating and scary at the same time.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I was stunned by the constant reporting of mass deaths of animal groups throughout 2011. Every Saturday, the local newspaper offers a syndicated column about odd weather-related events around the world. It almost always contains info about animals migrating to odd places or some other strange behavior in recent months. I'm going to keep my eye on this.


sunflower solar oven 4 years ago

hi, thanks for an interesting article! solar cooking is an excellent way to cook food without wasting fuel or heating up your kitchen. we especially like dehydrating fruit, bananas and mangoes turn out great!!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Does solar cooking prevent mass animal deaths as well? You may have posted on the wrong thread, but thanks!

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