All posts tagged: broken bodies

This Bird Flu Is Here to Stay

This Bird Flu Is Here to Stay

At bird breeding grounds this spring and summer, the skies have been clearer and quieter, the flocks drastically thinned. Last year, more than 60 percent of the Caspian terns at Lake Michigan vanished; the flock of great skuas at the Hermaness reserve, in Scotland, may have shrunk by 90 percent. Now more broken bodies are turning up: a massacre of 600 arctic-tern chicks in the United Kingdom; a rash of pelicans, cormorants, gulls, and terns washed up along West African coasts. In recent months, Peruvian officials have reported the loss of tens of thousands of pelicans—by some estimates, up to 40 percent of the country’s total population. The deaths are the latest casualties of the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu that’s been tearing its way across the world. In the past couple of years, more than 100 million domestic poultry have died, many of them deliberately culled; out in the wild, the deaths may be in the millions too—the corpses have just been too inaccessible and too numerous for scientists to count. “It’s been carnage,” …