Something Strange is Happening


MOST PEOPLE read the papers, forget most and get on with the day. Few people see the patterns; the big picture of what is happening in the world. One of the things that has been happening with greater and greater frequency is large and mysterious animal deaths.
Something that punsters call flockalypse (as in apocalypse or the end of the world). A map has come out in Google showing the die offs in 2010/2011. These are only a small percentage of the mysterious mass deaths that actually took place. Not listed here are the U.S. Geological Service’s website which lists about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife from June to December 12, 2010. Time Magazine listed these as unsolved mysteries long before 2010:“In 2004, an estimated 300 hippopotamuses in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park died. In June 2010,  82 hippos died. In January 2006, 200 sea turtles washed up on the shores of El Salvador. Millions of honeybees started disappearing in 2006. According to the Department of Agriculture, reported bee-colony death rates were 29% in 2009, rising to 34% in 2010. The four main bumblebee populations have plummeted more than 90% in the past 20 years. A mysterious fungal disease has been killing bats across the U.S. since 2006. More than 1 million bats have died. In 2008, 60 pilot whales beached themselves along the rocky coast of the southern Australian island state of Tasmania. A week later, 150 long-finned pilot whales did the same. Then, in January 2009, 45 sperm whales stranded themselves on a Tasmanian sandbar. 194 pilot whales and a handful of bottleneck dolphins beached themselves along the same coastline in March. In June 2009 hundreds of pelicans from Oregon to Mexico were found dead .In 2009, 1,200 penguins were found dead in March in southern Chile. In April, millions of sardines washed ashore nearby. Thousands of Andean flamingos abandoned their nests in Chile, leaving their 2,000 chicks to die in their shells. In late May, 60 pelicans were found dead in Chile’s central coast. “This is nothing compared to 2010/2011January 2010: Thousands of dead walleye fish washed up on Lake Erie, USA.  Millions of camels, goats, sheep, cows, yaks and horses died in Mongolia. 503 manatee carcasses were found on the Florida coast. (This happened again in January 2011). 100 tons of tilapia were found dead in Lake Buhi in Manila, Philippines. More than 2 dozen seals washed up on New Jersey shores, USA March 2010: 308 dead baby whales in the waters around Peninsula Valdes along Argentina’s Patagonian Coast. This is the single largest great whale die-off on record. *January -July 2010: Seven whales washed ashore along the West coast of Ghana May 2010: 12,000 saiga antelopes found dead in Kazakhstan. June 2010: Thousands of baby spotted filefish washed up on the shores of the Cayman Islands near Cuba. August 2010: Over 6 million fish and thousands of alligators, turtles, dolphins and other river wildlife died in Bolivian rivers in Santa Cruz, Beni and Tarija. Nothing like this has ever been seen in Bolivia. *October 2010: Thousands of migratory shearwaters birds found dead on Queensland beaches. *November 6 2010: 33 pilot whales beached themselves on Rutland Island near Burtonport, Ireland.*December 2010: 83,000 dead drumfish washed up along the Arkansas River.  Thousands of dead fish found in Lake Azuei in Haiti. 80 dead pigeons fell from the sky in St.-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Canada. Thousands of dead fish found in a lake inside Sydney Airport. Beaches nearCharleston, South Carolina, USA littered with hundreds of dead starfish and jellyfish.  Several million (150 tonnes) red tilapia fish died in Cao Lanh District,Vietnam. Thousands of dead birds found inManitoba, Canada. 100 tons of dead fish washed ashore in Paraná, Paranaguá , Brazil. Thousands of fish turned up dead in Lapu-Lapu city, Philippines.*Shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve between 3000 and 500 red winged blackbirds fell from the sky in Beebe, USA.  2011 started with dead birds mysteriously falling from the sky all over the world. Thousands of birds fell in Arkansas, California and Missouri, Louisiana, Kentucky, USA. 50 more fell in Sweden. Hundreds of blackbirds dropped out of the sky in New Zealand as well as 200 starlings in Sannitica, Italy followed by 40 turtle doves in San Cesario Italy.
America has the most recorded mass deaths in 2011: 300 dead birds in Alabama ; 3000 birds fall dead in Arkansas; 100 dead pelicans found on the beaches of Topsail Island; 200 dead starlings in South Dakota; hundreds of dead birds in Texas; Ohio finds 200 dead geese and ducks along Lake Erie; 1 million menhaden fish found dead on Florida;  Hundreds of dead birds in Dacono, Colorado; Hundreds of dead Atlantic Striped Bass in North Carolina; 50 birds found dead in Indiana; 120 dead birds found in Tennessee; Thousands of trout die on Carolina coasts; Hundreds of birds found dead in western Kentucky ; Hundreds of dead fish found in Detroit, Michigan ;Thousands of fish found dead in Florida creek ; 500 dead birds fall from sky in Louisiana  ;100,000 dead fish wash ashore on Arkansas River; Hundreds of dead birds found on the streets in Murray and Gilbertsville, Kentucky; Hundreds of dead birds on the  highway in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana; hundreds of birds fall dead in Lake Charles.Louisiana; two million dead fish found floating in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland ; 100 dead pelicans  found along the beaches of Topsail Island; 200 dead starlings  in Yankton, South Dakota; hundreds of birds found dead in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Hundreds of dead birds found on a California highway; Thousands of dead gizzard shad fish turned up in the harbours of Chicago;. Thousands of fish washed up on Ohio beaches; Millions of small fish found dead at Redondo Beach, California; A foot-deep layer of dead fish flooded the King Harbour Marina, Los Angeles; Millions of jellyfish beached themselves at Volusia County, Florida; 20,000 fish found dead in Texas lake.
And the rest of the world? January 2011: 4 000 birds died in lakes of Guanajuato, Mexico; Thousands of dead turtle doves found dead in  Faenza, Italy; 40,000 Devil crabs found dead on the Thanet coast of  England; Thousands of fish found dead in Yamuna River  Mathura, India; Mass fish deaths in the Gulistan Province of  Iran sector of the Caspian Sea;Thousands of dead fishes and turtles found dead at Pakka Talab, Etawah ,India;Hundreds of shad fish found dead in St. Clair River, Canada; Hundreds of dead birds discovered on the banks of the  river  Xiaoqing,China; Beaches in Cedar,Canada found covered with hundreds of dead herring;  Thousands of birds fall in Bio Bio,Chile;Hundreds of fish found dead in Tambun, Malaysia;Thousands of dead fish washed ashore in El Llanito, Columbia; Dozens of dead migratory cranes found in Japan; Hundreds of dead snapper washed up on Coromandel beaches on the North Island, New Zealand ;  Dozens of dead ducks found in Auckland, New Zealand ; Twenty-four pilot whales died in New Zealand’s Parengarenga Harbour; Eider Ducks died like flies In the harbour at Andenes, Norway; 500 kg of dead octopus  found on a 3 km stretch of  beach in Portugal; Thousands of dead black birds found dead in Romanian cities, Constanta  and Bistrita; Hundreds of dead birds found in Falkirk, Sweden; in Taichung County ,Taiwan more than 100 wild birds found dead; Large numbers of dead barn owls found in Scotland; Thousands of fish die in Pantanal, Brazil; Hundreds of dead herring found on beach in BC, Canada;. 10 tons of fish washed up on beach near Sao Paulo; Hundreds of dead fish found in N. Ireland; Hundreds of dead fish found in Manchester, UK;. Hundreds of dead fish appear on beach in Peru ; 2.5 million kg of fish die at Chinese fish farm; Dead fish cover shore of Papau New Guinea village, Pari . Hundreds of dead fish found in the marina near Abergavenny, United Kingdom.February 2011: 300 dead sparrows found   in Rotorua, New Zealand; 80 tons of dead fish wash up in Rio lagoon, Brazil; Thousands of squid found dead in Derwent, Tasmania; Thousands of juvenile barracouta found dead at two sites in Tasmania; Thousands of dead fish and birds carpet surface of river in Windsor, Canada
March 2011:15,000 dead crayfish, eels and fish wash up on West Australia beach; 50 melon-headed whales found stranded on Japanese shore.
July  2011:  Millions of dead jellyfish clogged up the Orot Rabin plant in Hadera, Israel, a day after the Torness nuclear facility in Scotland was closed in a similar fashion by jellyfish; 546 dead penguins washed up on beaches in Sao Paolo, Brazil. 60 pilot whales died in a mass stranding near the northwestern tip of Scotland *March- November 2011: Hundreds of birds round Geleshan Forest Park in Chongqing, China fell dead for six months October, 2010 – Around 1,500 dead birds found on Ukraine’s Bolshoi Dzendzik Island, Ukraine.November 2011: 7000 fish found dead at Woolwash Lagoon, Australia.* I have only listed about 2 % of the mass deaths. Something strange is happening. Birds are falling dead out of the sky and fish are washing up dead on shores around the world. Will the year ahead take us along with the birds and fish?  What can I say – Happy New Year??


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Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi is an Indian MP, animal rights activist, environmentalist and former model. Maneka Gandhi writes weekly column Heads & Tails for the Kashmir Observer. To join her animal rights movement contact [email protected]

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