By Brandon Richards – bio | email
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is trying to figure out what caused the death of hundreds of birds in south Lake Charles.
The birds were discovered on Thursday morning.
More than 100 birds were scattered across Lake Street between Gauthier and Tank Farm Road; another hundred were found on Lincoln Road, about a mile away.
Kori Legleu, a biologist with Wildlife and Fisheries, identified the birds as Tree Swallows, a kind of bird that travels in tight flocks.
Legleu said the birds, which are common in Southwest Louisiana, were likely flying erratically when some of them were struck by passing vehicles.
“It could be a lot of things,” said Legleu. “There are a multitude of reasons why we have bird die-offs and it happens almost every year. Most of the time, people don’t hear about it. It’s not anything I think the public should be concerned over.”
Officials are awaiting the results of a necropsy, a bird autopsy, to know for sure.
The preliminary results should be in, in about a week.
The final results are expected in a few weeks.
Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.
Massive fish kill reported in Vero Beach state park
Another massive fish kill has struck Florida waters — this time affecting menhaden in a Vero Beach state park. The Sebastian Inlet State Park became inundated with swathes of dead fish last week. According to one report, some residents have estimated that there are “millions” of dead fish, and the area is now inundated with a strong odor from the decay. #
According to Carli Segelson, spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the kill is likely due to low dissolved oxygen levels in the water. #
On Feb. 4, the FWC received reports of dead fish near sebastian inlet boat ramp. Our field staff obtained fish and water samples, and observed several species, including Spot, Sheepshead, and Red Drum, but the vast majority were Menhaden. The water quality data do show levels of Dissolved Oxygen low enough to cause fish kills, but the analysis did not indicate an algae bloom. However, because algae blooms can come and go rather quickly, scientists can’t always observe them directly and low dissolved oxygen levels can be a sign of a recent or ongoing bloom. #
A similar fish kill occurred in Northeast Florida in the summer of 2010, which many environmentalists attributed to nutrient pollution. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus — which come from industry runoff, as well as home fertilizers — often contribute to the widespread growth of algal blooms. As the blooms die off, they use up large amounts of oxygen, which leads to low levels of dissolved oxygen in the waterbody. #
Segelson says that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hasn’t received any calls of dead or dying fish since last Friday, but she encourages those who spot any such fish to call the Fish Kill Hotline.