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I went on a quick boat ride yesterday afternoon from Antelope Island back towards Farmington Bay WMA. I've made this run many times in previous years but this year was SHOCKED to see some many dead and dying birds on the lake. There are 1,000's (not tens of thousands) of Mallards, Pintails, Gulls, Avocets, Shovelers and GW Teal either dead or in the process of dying. I'm guessing it's botulism. Sad to see, even if botulism it's naturally occurring I wish there was something we could do. On another note be careful with your retrievers if you come across any of these birds.

Be safe and bring on the waterfowl season!!
Josh
 

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I went on a quick boat ride yesterday afternoon from Antelope Island back towards Farmington Bay WMA. I've made this run many times in previous years but this year was SHOCKED to see some many dead and dying birds on the lake. There are 1,000's (not tens of thousands) of Mallards, Pintails, Gulls, Avocets, Shovelers and GW Teal either dead or in the process of dying. I'm guessing it's botulism. Sad to see, even if botulism it's naturally occurring I wish there was something we could do. On another note be careful with your retrievers if you come across any of these birds.

Be safe and bring on the waterfowl season!!
Josh
Josh, based on my research data the probable cause at this time of the year is Botulism. Botulism tends to be highest in Q2 and Q3 of each year while Avian Cholera tends to be a Q1 and Q4 phenomenon. One of the largest ever botulism outbreaks in the US over the last 40 years happened in Utah (300,000+ birds). Yes it is sad but it's been happening longer than any of us have been alive and unfortunately will continue to happen when all of us are long gone.
 

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Let's just hope it's not a repeat of 1997 when more than half a million birds died. I thought the "big" outbreak would have happened last year with the hotter than normal temperatures. I am kind of surprised it's happening this year, other than the fact the lake is at an all time low and the temperatures are rising now. That lake has quite the cycle to her.
http://wildlife.utah.gov/diseases/avian_botulism.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Josh, based on my research data the probable cause at this time of the year is Botulism. Botulism tends to be highest in Q2 and Q3 of each year while Avian Cholera tends to be a Q1 and Q4 phenomenon. One of the largest ever botulism outbreaks in the US over the last 40 years happened in Utah (300,000+ birds). Yes it is sad but it's been happening longer than any of us have been alive and unfortunately will continue to happen when all of us are long gone.
Very true...I remember that 300,000 bird year.
In years past the DWR and Federal agencies have mitigated some of the prolonged botulism death by picking up the dead and dying birds and incinerating them. From what I was told this helps in stunting the broad expansion of this disease by removing the "breeding grounds" for blow flies. Once those fly eggs hatch and start eating the decaying bird they're infected with the same disease. Those little floating white snacks are irresistible for feeding ducks and BAM you have another victim. The cycle is not very forgiving but then again neither is nature at times.
 

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wow, I remember years ago being in the marsh the first weekend around kaysville and seeing hundreds of dead teal washing into the area. Now I know what they were from! it would've been around 1997. Never knew about that at all.
 

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Josh, did you report the kill to the DWR so they could go start the clean up process? In years past they have cleaned up the kills to stop or slow down the catastrophic loss.
 

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So is there any connection between lake level and botulism outbreaks? It would be interesting to see. Also I wonder how bad it got historically, especially during the early 1800s when waterfowl numbers were at least double what they are now.
 

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It typically occurs in warm, shallow, low oxygenated and high protein waters. From my understanding it is difficult to predict outbreaks before they actually happen. I have read news articles that stated millions of birds died in the 1800's.
The bad thing is it probably just started and will continue until we get cooler temperatures and rain.
 

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I will be providing actual data on the incidences over the last 30+ years just as I did for Avian Cholera. I am certain the data will be just as enlightening.
You already did, and you made a big deal about how botulism, and not cholera was the leading cause of death over the last 30 years. You know, when I said those 2000 geese were killed by pesticides, just not the way I had originally stated, or by the pesticide I stated. But they were killed by pesticides non the less.

Like I said, botulism is part of the natural cycle, but that cycle is being driven by several influences, one of them being the use of herbicides in the marsh.

With the addition of Imazapic to the use of glyphosate this will only get worse, as the affects will be more amplified and last longer, with smaller quantities being used.

Don't forget to chart actual spraying to the botulism outbreaks. With biggame I can show when, where, and what was sprayed, and the results.

Regardless of what you come up with, it can not refute the fact that the use of glyphosate and other herbicides have an effect on botulism, and its spread in animals. It is a simple fact. Herbicides are being used in the marsh, waterfowl are dying from botulism, and glyphosate and other herbicides are shown to drive botulism in animals. While correlation is not causation, there is no counter argument that this does not happen, the argument can't honestly be made.
 

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You already did, and you made a big deal about how botulism, and not cholera was the leading cause of death over the last 30 years. Yes there have been more botulism deaths than Avian Cholera deaths in the last 30 years, that is factual data....however I have not provided the data on botulism deaths per year, per quarter, per flyway etc yet. Don't get your panties in a wad there Josh, the data is going to disappoint you again....

Like I said, botulism is part of the natural cycle, but that cycle is being driven by several influences, one of them being the use of herbicides in the marsh. Can you point to actual verifiable scientific data that shows that the increased use of herbicides has caused an increase in the number and quantity of botulism cases...NOPE

Regardless of what you come up with, it can not refute the fact that the use of glyphosate and other herbicides have an effect on botulism, and its spread in animals. It is a simple fact. Herbicides are being used in the marsh, waterfowl are dying from botulism, and glyphosate and other herbicides are shown to drive botulism in animals. While correlation is not causation, there is no counter argument that this does not happen, the argument can't honestly be made So according to Dr. Josh with his PhD in Googleology, regardless of the scientific verifiable data that is provable, regardless of what that data says, if Dr. Google doesn't agree with it then the data is meaningless, irrelevant and is only to be discarded.
I guess it is beyond your ability to comprehend that the actual scientifically verifiable data disagrees with your theories on glyphosate and Avian Cholera. The data evaluation of every single reported mass die off event since 1981 (100% sample rate, if you know what that means) clearly shows that the usage of glyphosate has gone up by a factor of several hundred times and the incidences of Avian Cholera have not only NOT increased similarly but have actually DECREASED significantly. Your refusal to accept reality is your problem and not mine.
 
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