A “CATASTROPHIC” failure of the salmon run in Argyll’s largest and most closely monitored river has prompted demands for the closure of some fish farms and a review of the expansion of the industry. This year’s run of salmon in the River Awe is by far the lowest since records began in 1964, according to figures released today. The annual salmon count for 2017 has been confirmed as 480, which compares with 807 in 2016 and a five-year average of 1400. The previous lowest total was 781 in 1998.
A recent assessment of higher tier studies on the toxicity and risks of neonics in honeybees by Solomon and Stephenson reported a colony-level NOAEC of 25 μg/kg (ppb) for imidacloprid and clothianidin. The toxicity of these insecticides to honeybees is however known to be reinforced with chronic exposure, and extrapolation of time-to lethal-effect toxicity plots compiled from published studies indicate that an imidacloprid level of 0.25 ppb, i.e. one-hundredth of the reported colony NOAEC, would kill a large proportion of bees nearing the end of their life.
The black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) has the most restricted distribution of all spoonbills, and it is the only one regarded as endangered. There remain only about 3,300 spoonbills, and the species spends the mating season on small islands along the west coast of the Korean Peninsula and in China’s Liaoning province, the WWF says. “With such a small global population, the black-faced spoonbill is inherently vulnerable to extinction,” it says.
The population of blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) - the seabirds with characteristically colorful feet - has been declining in the Galápagos islands. The birds' numbers have dropped more than 50 percent in less than 20 years, according to a study published Monday (April 21) in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology. The researchers speculated that a lack of sardines, a source of food for the boobies, might be to blame for the decline.
In September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied a petition to put the Bicknell’s thrush (Catharus bicknelli) on the federal list of endangered species. The Bicknell’s is a medium-size (6-7.5 inches) thrush—brown on the back with a white, spotted underside—that dwells in dense balsam-fir forests in high elevations in the Adirondacks. Following is a primer on other wildlife in trouble in the Adirondack Park.
Bees and butterflies are experiencing widespread population decline, creating public concern in recent years. Data collected in Germany suggest that it’s not just bees and butterflies at risk: insect populations overall have plummeted by more than 75 percent since 1989. Scientists have known about the population decline for several years. However, they didn’t know how many species were declining, and they didn’t expect it to be happening so fast.
Steelhead anglers may have to start looking for another fish to catch. Four groups have released a joint statement sounding the alarm about the decline of steelhead numbers returning to B.C. rivers. The focal point of that concern is the Thompson River, a major tributary of the Fraser River. Where it once supported a thriving recreational steelhead fishery of 4,000 spawners in the mid-1980s, today the Thompson River has about 250 spawners projected for 2018.
Some fish stocks in Canada are at risk of collapse. Some estimates put the overall decline of marine populations at 50 per cent of levels in the 1970s, although the numbers vary depending on the species and its location. Oceana Canada, a scientific research and lobby group, just released its first audit of 159 separate marine fish stocks and found 26 in critical condition, 22 of those in Atlantic Canada.
As wild salmon populations have declined dramatically, Fish and Game New Zealand (FGNZ) is hosting a symposium to discuss the problem. FGNZ councillor Matthew Hall, of Ashburton, said population surveys carried out every year, including in Otago rivers, had shown significant and alarming drops in numbers since about the mid-1990s. ''The New Zealand population of sea salmon in the last 10 years has been the lowest since they were introduced in the 1900s,'' Mr Hall said.
Initial assessments that considered these insecticides harmless to aquatic organisms may have led to a relaxation of monitoring efforts, resulting in the worldwide contamination of many aquatic ecosystems with neonicotinoids. The decline of many populations of invertebrates, due mostly to the widespread presence of waterborne residues and the extreme chronic toxicity of neonicotinoids, is affecting the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. Consequently, vertebrates that depend on insects and other aquatic invertebrates as their sole or main food resource are being affected.