Test the birds for heavy metal poisoning -
particularly vanadium and nickel.
because of stories like this:
|Dead Bird Island - Terrebonne Parish|
In "Julia," the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper Boston Whaler and a local fishing vessel we made our way south from Pointe Au Chien across Lake Chien and Lake Felicity to Modoto Island. What we encountered there stunned us all. The ground was littered with dead birds. So many dead birds that we aren't sure how many were out there, many dozens of dead birds just in the small area which we surveyed on the island. The dead appeared to included mostly seagulls and terns though some were badly decayed and identification was difficult. It was clear to me by the various states of decay, from scattered bones to a tern that couldn't have been dead for more than a day and everything in between, that this is an ongoing situation.
We also saw a juvenile gull that was in distress. It could hardly walk and was very unsteady when it took a step it also had very little energy. By the time we finished our sampling and were ready to leave the island the bird had died. I asked Kurt if he had seen anything like the dead birds and he said that he had been visiting this island his entire life and he has never seen dead birds in the numbers we were seeing. It is clear to me that these birds are somehow being poisoned by the BP event.
Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper
OnEarth, November 8, 2010:
Not only were they suddenly in dire financial straits, but the ecosystem surrounding them was in ruins. “As we’d be going down to Venice to provide paperwork for our claims, and searching for a job hopefully working with BP, there were sea gulls dead all over the road,” Darla says. “They weren’t hit by a car. They didn’t have oil on them. There was nothing wrong with them that you could see. I actually saw a couple of them flying and drop out of the sky.
Note -- dead birds as well.
By Kathy Marks in Sydney, for the Independent.co.uk, Thursday, 5 April 2007
A strange silence was the first clue that something was wrong. The dawn chorus that usually woke residents of the picturesque coastal town of Esperance, in Western Australia, had stopped. Then birds began falling out of the sky.
Local people were alarmed when they came across dead lorikeets, wattlebirds, honeyeaters and silvereyes in their parks and back yards. Health officials told them not to worry. But they tested their rainwater tanks, the main source of drinking water, and found dangerously high levels of lead or nickel in more than a third.
The authorities still insisted there was no cause for concern. Then they tested the seabed at the Esperance port, through which nickel and lead carbonate mined inland are shipped to Asia. Some samples contained 130 times the recommended health levels of the two metals.
THE USGS WAS CONCERNED ENOUGH TO FUND NOT JUST ONE STUDY
NICKEL HAZARDS TO FISH, WILDLIFE, AND INVERTEBRATES:
A SYNOPTIC REVIEW
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Laurel, MD 20708
In mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), nickel accumulates in tissues when diets contain as little as 12.5 mg Ni/kg
DW ration (Table 8). Metabolic upset and altered bone densities occur in mallards fed diets containing 800 mg
Ni/kg ration for 90 days (Cain and Pafford 1981; Eastin and O’Shea 1981). Inhibited growth and reduced
survival occur in mallards at dietary loadings of 1,200 mg Ni/kg ration (Table 8). Dietary nickel concentrations of
0.074 mg Ni/kg ration have no adverse effects on Coturnix quail (Coturnix risoria). However, Japanese quail
(Coturnix japonica) fed diets containing 0.71 mg Ni/kg ration have significantly elevated nickel concentrations in
liver compared to controls fed diets containing 0.48 mg Ni/kg (Table 8). Increased concentrations of nickel in the
diets of domestic chickens (Gallus sp.) were associated with decreased growth and survival and increased
nickel concentrations in bone and kidney (Ling and Leach 1979). Dietary loadings of 500 mg Ni/kg ration and
higher were associated with reduced growth and high mortality in some strains of chickens, but not others
(Table 8). No developmental abnormalities occurred in chicks from survivors challenged by nickel during
embryogenesis (USPHS 1977). Chick embryos receiving a single injected dose of 3.6 mg Ni/kg embryo,
however, experienced 50% mortality within 18 days (Ridgway and Karnofsky 1952). Chicks are more resistant
than embryos to injected nickel. Chicks injected with 10 mg Ni/kg BW survived but had disrupted glucose
metabolism; effects were exacerbated by starvation (Nielsen 1977).
Table 8. Nickel effects on birds.
Since Beginning Of Spill Only 297 [of over 18,000] EPA Water Samples Contaminated With Substances Besides Nickel or Vanadium
So put it all together and you get what is in my humble opinion reasonable grounds for an hypothesis. ...
from the everlovin' EPA:
In birds tolerance to arsenic varies among species, but effects include destruction of gut blood vessels, blood-cell damage, muscular incoordination, debility, slowness, jerkiness, falling, hyperactivity, fluffed feathers, drooped eyelids, immobility, seizures, and systemic, growth, behavioral, and reproductive problems (Stanley et al. 1994; Whitworth et al. 1991; Camardese et al. 1990).
also from those wonderful defenders of truth and freedom over at the f*cking EPA:
Cadmium is highly toxic to wildlife; it is cancer-causing and teratogenic and potentially mutation-causing, with severe sublethal and lethal effects at low environmental concentrations (Eisler 1985a). It is associated with increased mortality, and it effects respiratory functions, enzyme levels, muscle contractions, growth reduction, and reproduction. It bioaccumulates at all trophic levels, accumulating in the livers and kidneys of fish (Sindayigaya, et al. 1994; Sadiq 1992).
Tetra Tech, Inc. Page C-11
3.0 TOXICITY PROFILE FOR NICKEL
Nickel is an essential micronutrient and is typically found in low concentrations in animal tissue (Hoar
1975). Nickel compounds can be grouped according to their solubility in water: soluble compounds
(e.g., nickel chloride, nickel sulfate, nickel nitrate) and insoluble compounds (e.g., nickel oxide). Both
the soluble and insoluble nickel compounds are important with regard to all relevant routes of exposure.
Generally, the soluble compounds are considered more toxic than the insoluble compounds. Ingestion of
nickel compounds may cause intestinal disorders, convulsions, and asphyxia (Lewis 1992)
Nickel affects endocrine and enzymatic processes. Nickel-induced endocrine effects include inhibition of
insulin production in pancreas, prolactin in hypothalamus, amylase excretion in parotid gland, and iodine uptake
in thyroid (Mushak 1980; USEPA 1980, 1986; USPHS 1977; WHO 1991). Inhibition of enzyme activity by nickel
is reported for RNA polymerase, ATPase, dialkyl fluorophosphate, and aspartase (NAS 1975). Inhibition of
ATPase is associated with neurological abnormalities, such as tremors, convulsions, and coma; altered
hormone release or action; and internal rearrangement of calcium ions in muscle that might cause paralysis and
abnormal heart rhythm (Nielsen 1977).
Water hardness affects nickel toxicity to aquatic organisms; the softer the water, the higher the toxicity.
Some subjects exposed to puffs up to 5 ppm described the odour as musty or sooty, but since the compound is so exceedingly toxic its smell provides no reliable warning against a potentially fatal exposure. Historically, laboratories that used Ni(CO)4 would keep a canary in the lab as an indicator of nickel carbonyl toxicity, due to the higher sensitivity of birds to this poison.
What do you think?
Transcript Summary from video, above:
Sea birds and swans sick and dying from a mystery illness has investigators worried tonight. They want to know if the sick birds off longboat key have anything to do with the BP oil spill. If it does that could be bad news for other kinds of area wildlife as well.
What’s attacking the birds and swans on Longboat Key?
Concerns that it’s toxins in the water or dispersant used in oil spill.
Swans started getting sick 2 months after spill and they’re not the only ones dying. So are all kinds of sea birds, gulls, terns and more. Rehabbers are worried because they can’t save these birds like usual. 65 have been lost in a little over a month… you know there’s a problem.
The symptoms are all the same, but could not diagnose the problem.
The birds become weak, paralyzed and just drop dead.
The symptoms and duration are unusual…
It’s a matter of life and death…
Could it mean the dispersants are here?
NOT IF YOU ASK BP............................ huh....
Be seeing you.