Unprecedented: ‘Cataclysmic’ die-off of birds on entire West Coast


Statesman Journal
, Jan 2, 2015 (emphasis added): Why is the beach covered in dead birds?…  “I’ve never seen that many before”… a mass die-off [is] going on along the entire West Coast… “To be this lengthy and geographically widespread, I think is kind of unprecedented,” [said Phillip Johnson of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition].

Oregonian, Jan 6, 2015: Dave Nuzum, a wildlife biologist… said his office continues to field calls from concerned beach-goers who come across a grisly scene: Common murres and Cassin’s auklets dead on the beach in great numbers… Oregon is the cataclysm’s epicenter… He doesn’t expect the crush of deaths to let up any time soon… [It’s] up to 100 times greater than normal annual death rates.

Prof. Julia Parrish, Univ. of Washington School of Aquatic & Fishery Science, Jan 6, 2015: This is the worst wreck of cassins auklets that we’ve ever seen on the West Coast… Certainly we are concerned… Is it that there’s less of their food, or perhaps that food has changed its distribution?… How many cassins may actually be suffering in this particular mortality event? We’re working with oceanographers and atmospheric scientists to try and discover whether there’s something in the environment which is signaling a difference, signaling a change. >> Full broadcast

Prof. Parrish #2, Jan 6, 2015: We’re seeing some adults wash up… The bumper crop [born this year] can’t quite explain [this]… We’re easily seeing tens of thousands, if not actually more… Normally [they] can exist out in the N. Pacific [far] from the coastline over the winter. We think that the population for some reason has snugged up to the coast… Unfortunately the cassins are the canary in the coalmine for us, so they’re telling us something is going on. To put it mildly, we’re still scrambling to figure out what’s going on with the ecosystem… Of course, everybody always wants to point the finger at climate change. The thing about climate change is it’s a very slow, steady change. >> Full broadcast

CBC, Jan 7, 2014: More than 100,000 carcasses… have been found… up to 100 times the normal number are washing ashore… “It’s a tragic event… We have never seen a die-off of Cassin’s like this, so that in and of itself says something” [said Parrish].

CBC News excerpts, Jan. 6, 2015:

  • CBC: It is a West Coast mystery — a mass die-off.
  • Prof. Parrish: [It’s] certainly indicating to us that there is something wrong.
  • CBC: Necropsies show no disease, no viruses, no bacteria.
  • Parrish: Tens of thousands of birds dead on the beach is something that we just can’t ignore — we ignore that at our peril.
  • Full broadcast here
After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.

Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.

Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.





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