Lead possibly to blame for deaths of nearly 60 swans

first_imgdageldog/iStock(CALLAM COUNTY, Wash.) — More than 50 trumpeter swans have died in the past two weeks in northwest Washington, possibly due to lead poising, experts say.When Martha Jordan, the director of the Northwest Swan Conservation Association (NSCA), went on a routine survey at Crescent Lake on March 10, the swan population distribution was relatively normal. When she returned a week later, she noticed multiple carcasses and feather piles — remnants of a bird after they’ve been eaten by a predator.“I knew I needed to go out on my boat with my dog to search for more,” said Jordan.According to Jordan, almost all the swans have classic symptoms of lead poisoning: weight loss, swelling, a paralyzed nervous system that makes walking and flying difficult, and trouble holding their heads up.With 40 years of experience dealing with swans, Jordan said the event “blindsided everybody.”Though this type of die-off is common in other areas, it’s rare for this region, she said.Part of the reason could be due to weather. A rare snow storm hit the Pacific Northwest in February, which pushed a lot the swans and other animals into areas they don’t normally go. Those areas might have sources of lead, according to Daniel Zimmerman from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.March is when the swans start to migrate to their breeding ground, and those that remain are usually single birds, as swans are known to have strong pair bonds.On one of her recent survey trips, Jordan saw a pair of swans who stayed behind, one swimming back and forth to its partner who was clearly sick and struggling.“The sick one made horrific sounds, sounds I’ve never heard a swan make, I just had to turn away because at that point there’s nothing I can do.”The next day Jordan saw one of them had died and the mate stayed by its side.“It’s hard to watch. You’re witnessing the lives of these birds,” she added.Lead shot has been banned from waterfowl hunting nationwide by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1991, but there are lead shots still in the environment from hunting that took place before the policy and clay target shooting in the area.“That’s one of the things that’s very hard. We don’t exactly know where they’re getting all of it [lead],” Zimmerman told ABC News.It takes three to four weeks for symptoms of lead poisoning in the birds to show up, according to Zimmerman. By the time the birds are dying, it’s not clear where the lead came from.As a supporter for legal hunting, Jordan is urging people to use nontoxic ammunition.“There’s no good excuse to not,” she said. “Often people say nontoxic ammunition is too expensive, even though it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to deal with the environmental consequences, taxpayer dollars, and they’re saying it’s too expensive for them?” said Jordan.NSCA is working closely with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to discuss next steps, including cleaning up the carcasses so there’s no secondary poisoning, placing poles where there is lead to discourage landing or feeding in the area and possibly track the swans if there is enough funding.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Memorandum of Understanding signed between Croatia and Bulgaria to strengthen cooperation in the field of tourism

first_imgThe interlocutors agreed that the two countries maintain close, friendly and excellent political relations, which are continuously sought to deepen in areas of common interest. Tourism is mutually recognized as one of the sectors in which it is possible to strengthen further cooperation.  It was signed at the meeting Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of the Republic of Bulgaria for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism, and which should result in mutual cooperation through the exchange of knowledge, experiences and good practices in the field of all forms of tourism. Photo: MINTS This year, which will not be remembered as a reference year due to the coronavirus epidemic, in the first nine months of 2020 we recorded a decrease in arrivals from the Bulgarian market of 76,3% (13 863) and a decrease in overnight stays of 62,2% (46 078) compared to the same period last year. The new EU instrument aimed at the recovery and resilience of the economy to the crisis caused by the coronavirus will be of great importance for further measures, the interlocutors concluded. “We need to maintain that recognition as our permanent trademark. Developing a diverse supply and stimulating demand are a prerequisite for the year-round tourism we strive for. Today we signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Bulgarian side with the aim of expanding tourism cooperation. This Memorandum will enable cooperation through the exchange of knowledge, experiences and good practices in the field of all forms of tourism, and especially valuable for Croatia are the Bulgarian experiences in the fields of winter and health tourism., said Minister Brnjac. Minister Brnjac added that such positive results of the tourist season would be difficult to achieve without the existing Government measures to support the tourism sector, but also those that are planned for the coming period, primarily in order to preserve jobs. Bulgaria ranks 39th among emitting markets Brnjac: We can learn from Bulgaria about the development of winter and health tourism The decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia to ensure the sustainability of the tourism sector and quality work of the Civil Protection Headquarters by making the necessary epidemiological decisions contributed to positioning Croatia as a safe destination, said Brnjac and added: Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac held a bilateral meeting with Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Marian Nikolova during her working visit to the Republic of Croatia. According to eVisitor, in 2019 we had an increase of 3% in arrivals (65) from the Bulgarian market and 862% in overnight stays (5), compared to the year before, while this year these figures are declining.  Bulgarian tourists mostly visited Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Istria and Kvarner, and most of them mostly stayed in hotel accommodation. In 2019, Bulgaria ranked 39th among emitting markets.last_img read more