January 21, 2011. More than 200 brown pelicans were thrown dead on the shore Topseyl Beach, on the south-east coast of Northern California.
Preliminary autopsy several individuals by the University of Georgia, was inconclusive and did not confirm the version of a possible crime. Full toxicology and pathology reports will be available soon.
Was formed task force, which includes members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Service Fish and Wildlife Service U.S., as well as government representatives, who took up the study of bird deaths, but to find out why they have so far failed. The first deaths of pelicans were observed in November.
"Cases of mass death of birds, including the above, happen often, but they are quite complex and require study. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, each year in the states, there are some 160 cases of mass death of birds and animals in the wild. Some weather-related, while others are caused by pollution, parasites or disease, as well as human activities.
"The most important is the fact that a large number of bird deaths are not recorded and are not considered, since they occur with less loss and do not deserve the attention of the press. These include deaths from pesticides and other toxic substances, such as waste of used ammunition, collisions with communication towers, buildings or wind plants, as well as stray cats. Still, their overall impact is significant and may consist of more than 1.5 billion birds every year, "- said Dr. McKernan.
According to local reports, the pelicans have injuries such as broken beaks and wounds on the wings. Local representatives responded quickly, saying that such injuries are associated with the so-called "cleaning" that produce crabs in the water or near the shore. These lesions are not necessarily the result of an intentional crime that resulted in the death of the birds. On the other hand, the good physical condition of pelicans suggests that they were fed immediately before death. Records show that the contents of their stomachs were also normal.
Brown pelicans live along the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay, as well as in Southern California. It is the only species of pelicans, promptly thrown into the water to catch prey. The scope of their wings can reach more than 2 meters, and weighs about 3.5 pounds. Due to the rapid population decline of brown pelicans in the 1960s and 70s because of the use of DDT (Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane — an insecticide banned in many countries due to the fact that he is able to accumulate in the birds, animals and humans — approx. Translator), This species was included in the law on the conservation of endangered species. After the ban of DDT and concerted action for the protection of birds, the population of brown pelicans has been restored, and the species was removed from the list in 2009.
The American Society of Protection of Birds secures rare species of the country, protecting and restoring their natural habitat and reducing the threat by increasing movement to protect the birds.