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Thousands of fish washed up in Chicago and hundreds of birds perish in California as animal deaths continue to bemuse scientists

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 16:54
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(Before It's News)

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 4:50 PM on 11th January 2011

 

 

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Thousands of gizzard shad fish have been washed up on Chicago’s harbours while over one hundred dead birds have been found clustered on a Californian highway.

The two instances appear to be a continuation of the strange mass animal deaths that have struck in the past fortnight – in America and elsewhere.

However Lake Michigan Program biologist Dan Makauskas said that gizzard shad are not a very tough variety of fish and are more sensitive to drops in oxygen levels than most fish.

 
Mass death: Thousands of gizzard shad fish have washed up on banks of Chicago's harbours

Mass death: Thousands of gizzard shad fish have washed up on banks of Chicago’s harbours

Mr Makauskas suggested that the young fish may not have built up enough reserves to withstand the early onslaught of extreme cold that hit the area.

Canada geese and mallard ducks have eaten many of the dead fish.

Meanwhile, California wildlife officials are attempting to work out what caused the death of more than 100 birds found clustered together just off Highway 101.

 
Freezing: Experts believe that the cold weather has caused the fish to die

Freezing: Experts believe that the cold weather has caused the fish to die

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that California Highway Patrol officers found the dead birds near the roadway on Saturday and called in the state Department of Fish and Game to investigate.

The officers who found the birds described them as small with brown and black feathers. They were intact and had not been shot.

The reports come as other, larger bird deaths have been reported in Arkansas, Louisiana and other states.

 First there came bird and fish deaths on December 31 in Arkansas, followed by reports of several other mass animal deaths around the world. 

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