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White Pelicans in trouble?[Fwd: bird]

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  • Thomas Miko
    ... Thomas Miko (Mikó Tamás) thomas.miko@verizon.net thomas_miko@hotmail.com 653 S. Indian Hill Blvd., #C Claremont, CA 91711 U.S.A. 34.109167 N, 117.718293
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 12, 2004
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      >
      > From: Darkmater@...
      > Date: 2004/07/12 Mon PM 02:47:33 CDT
      > To: thomas.miko@...
      > Subject: bird
      >
      >
      > Where Are the Pelicans? Scientists Don't Know
      > Birds Absent From North Dakota Nesting Grounds
      > By JAMES MacPHERSON, AP
      >
      > (http://ar.atwola.com/link/93179288/html?badsc=B0T7DNoIDgCEOlka8i-RGMaAJ8LZS7sAMMKHeOrsUmSDne1r0H7p9gwGDKPtKLXmIRm2R_VuiH2S0O1ILkdwhDmQd04iQOFDzlt_Wndzsbtk
      > mwX7QSWhVWGmkY8sKyMCY06lY0yhzku9q46qNJfagnob6xXgRwAduD-8LTGqysTPT8wShuCXNRx8yQ
      > 8x1baIdY44LB87GByaYsFz2uObigB1BLrRj00_8X6lLVG-qi7S5eUmMjk2W5z3w5BxQ5h2fDaxdRqJ
      > lteMg3g9muWA8ExCydDfQbt9KR)
      > (http://ar.atwola.com/link/93179288/2051654374/aollocal?target=_blank&border=0)
      > CHASE LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, N.D. (July 12) - The air here this time
      > of year usually is filled with the grunts and squawks of thousands of white
      > pelicans and their chicks. The giant birds have made the refuge their home
      > for at least 100 years.
      >
      > Now their nesting grounds are quiet. The pelicans are gone - and no one
      > knows why.
      > Everybody, from biologists to bartenders, has a theory.
      > "Those wildlife agents scared them away," said Jake Bohl, a blacksmith in
      > Woodworth, a town of about 80 people 15 miles northeast of Chase Lake. "That's
      > my explanation."
      > The 4,385-acre refuge in central North Dakota had been known as the home of
      > the largest nesting colony of white pelicans in North America. The nearly
      > 28,000 birds that showed up to nest here in early April took off in late May and
      > early June, leaving their chicks and eggs behind.
      > Paul Guthmiller, an 85-year-old farmer, said he's seen pelicans in the area
      > since he was a child. He figures heavy rains and cool temperatures in late
      > May drove the birds away.
      >
      >
      >
      > AP
      >
      > These days, the only pelicans in Medina, N.D., near the Chase Lake National
      > Wildlife Refuge, are fake.
      >
      > "I think there is too much water for them because of too much rain,"
      > Guthmiller said.
      > Normally, the pelicans stay at the refuge through September, raising their
      > young and feasting on crawfish, small fish and salamanders from small ponds
      > known as "prairie potholes." The area is filled with the stench of droppings
      > from the thousands of birds and their chicks.
      > Now, sweet-smelling wildflowers have taken hold in the guano-rich soil.
      > Wildlife officials have considered diseases, food supply, water quality,
      > weather, predators and other factors, but have found no satisfactory explanation
      > for the exodus, said Mick Erickson, the Chase Lake refuge manager.
      > "Right now, everybody has an opinion," Erickson said. "But honestly, there
      > isn't any explanation. This is the first time it's happened."
      > The white pelican is one of the largest birds in North America, measuring
      > six feet from bill to tail. They weigh up to 20 pounds and have a wingspan of
      > nearly 10 feet. While awkward on land, white pelicans are acrobats in the air.
      > Pelicans have been monitored at Chase Lake since 1905, when the birds
      > numbered about 50. President Theodore Roosevelt designated the site as a bird
      > refuge in 1908, when many of the birds were being killed for their feathers and
      > for target practice.
      > Samples from about two dozen dead pelicans from the reserve and from other
      > parts of the Upper Midwest are being tested at the National Wildlife Health
      > Center in Madison, Wis.
      > "There has been no consistent finding as to cause of death," said Kathryn
      > Converse, wildlife disease specialist with the center.
      > Researchers had found botulism in two of the dead pelicans from the reserve,
      > Converse said. None of the pelicans had tested positive for West Nile or
      > other viruses, she said.
      > Erickson said officials initially blamed a coyote that had a den about a
      > mile from the nesting grounds, and killed it. But the exodus continued.
      > "It's weird," Erickson said. "We feel helpless because we don't know what
      > else to look at."
      > Wildlife officials have been doing annual aerial surveys of the pelicans
      > since 1972. The number of pelicans had tripled at the refuge in the past 30
      > years. A record 35,466 breeding pelicans and 17,733 nests were tallied in 2000 at
      > Chase Lake, Erickson said.
      > This year, there have been reports of extraordinary pelican sightings in
      > Illinois, Wisconsin, Montana, Nebraska and Michigan. But the numbers reported
      > throughout the Upper Midwest do not add up to the nearly 28,000 recorded at the
      > refuge in May, before the exodus, Erickson said.
      > A couple of hundred "loafers," or pelicans not yet of breeding age, remain
      > at prairie potholes in the Chase Lake area, Erickson said.
      > Erickson is betting the big birds will return to Chase Lake next year.
      > "For whatever reason, they picked Chase Lake to nest for hundreds and maybe
      > thousands of years," Erickson said. "I'm pretty confident they'll come back."
      > If the birds do return, Erickson said, access for birdwatchers would be
      > limited during nesting.
      > The pelicans may be making some kind of a natural correction, said Ken
      > Torkelson, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bismarck.
      > "They've been relying on Chase Lake a long time, and maybe they felt it
      > could no longer support the species so they picked up and moved some place that
      > could," he said.
      > 07/12/04 05:45 EDT
      > Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP
      > news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed
      > without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active
      > hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
      >
      >

      Thomas Miko (Mikó Tamás)

      thomas.miko@...
      thomas_miko@...

      653 S. Indian Hill Blvd., #C
      Claremont, CA 91711
      U.S.A.
      34.109167 N, 117.718293 W

      home: (909) 445-1456
      page: (310) 366-9990
      cell: (626) 390-1935

      FRS radio channel 11 code 22

      thomas_miko@...

      http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/birdsofhungary
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