As another round of seemingly mysterious bird deaths hits the media, this time as hundreds of dead sea gulls were discovered in San Francisco, more implausible explanations are being offered by government officials to a gullible and hapless media.
Weird atmopheric conditions, wind, hail, suidice, mold, or even Biblical signs of the apocalypse, are among the theories that have been tossed around since the mass bird and fish deaths began in January.
And yet, for anyone willing to do a little research into the matter, there is a simple explanation for the bird and fish deaths, and it isn’t God or weather or conspiracy.
You can start by Googling the word “Starlicide” .
What you will find is that Starlicide, also called DSR-1339, is a specially formulated pesticide which the federal goverment (USDA) uses to cull overpopulations of starlings and sea gulls. The chemical compound of the pesticide is designed to attract certain species, while leaving others unaffected. It is dispersed in agricultural, airport or coastal and waterfront areas where starlings and seagulls pose hazards to crops, dairy farms, airplanes and public beaches. It is typically dispersed beginning in January when foliage is absent and when beaches are empty.
The widely used and controversial poison first gained media coverage in 2009 when the USDA admitted that it had dispersed DSR-1339 in rural areas near Griggston, N.J., in an effort to kill 5,000 starlings which threatened the livelihood of local dairy and crop farmers. The case alarmed and drew fierce outrage from New Jersey residents, as documented by the local media at the time — January 2009 — shown here:
- “Bird culling fallout alarms New Jersey communityi 2009-01-27
- “Dead birds horrify and anger Franklin residents”. 2009-01-26
While the species-specific action that DSR-1339 employs is intended to kill only starlings and gulls and no other species of bird, it is not a perfect science and occassionally other birds or certain species of fish will also be affected by DSR-1339.
The correlation to mass fish deaths, such as at Arkansas, Chesapeake Bay, Los Angeles and many others, was collateral damage — as evidenced by the fact that the same week in which 5,000 starlings died in Arkansas, there was also a mass die-off of 100,000 drum fish in the Arkansas River. This is the reason millions of sardines washed up in Los Angeles Bay last week — since it seems the USDA or state of California apparently had used Starlicide to an address an overabundance of seagulls in the area, and inadvertantly killed the sardines as the pesticide entered the water. The species-specific action of the pesticide explains why certain species of fish are susceptible to the particular compound in the pesticide, while others aren’t.
A Pennsylvania official was the latest to admit to dispersing Starlicide. As shown here: Poconos Starling Deaths.A few government officials have admiitted that Starlicide is the cause of the mass bird deaths, such as in January when a South Dakota wildlife official said that it was a dispersal of Starlicide that was the cause of thousands of dead starlings near Yankton, S.D. Story here.
Other state and USDA officials, while never mentioning the use of Starlicide, seemed to know more than they were revealing. Such as when, following the death of 100,000 drumfish in the Arkansas River in January, Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said test results of the dead fish would “take about a month” to determine. And yet, in the same interview Stephens says, “It was likely some kind of disease that killed the drumfish, because if it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish. But we have imposed no ban on fishing, and you can still fish for bass and crappie, catfish, it will be fine.”
It will be fine? How could he know until the test results were complete?
As of March 14 this year the government was still trying to cover-up its use of Starlicide, such as in San Franciso last week where hundreds of sea gulls died, while state wildlife officials came up with a most unique story. Instead of simply admitting to the use of Starlicide to cut down sea gull populations around the city’s commercial and heavily touristed waterfront, a goverment official gave this wacky explanation:
“We did autopsies on a number of dead gulls and found that growing inside their lungs was a mold called aspergillus, which suffocated the birds,” said California Fish and Game Warden William O’Brien.
It’s not surprising that California Fish and Game would prefer to keep news of them using bird pesticide out of newspapers, simply to avoid the public outcry which happened in New Jersey last year.
As such, there is nothing complicated or mysterious about the bird and fish deaths, and yet a big question remains — where is the media on this? After widespread concern around the world about the mass deaths, it would seem that by now someone in the media would have connected the dots between Starlicide disperals and mass starling and fish deaths. CBS? FOX? CNN? where are you? Instead, the media went with alarm-provoking stories which included impossible-to-believe government explanations for the deaths such as wind, hail, cold, suicide, mold, and others.
A Google News search yields only one news story with the word “Starlicide” in it.
Now there’s a mystery.