Someone started calling it the “Aflockalypse” but that only seems fair to all the dead birds. I’d call it the “Animocalypse” (trademark, and I want attribution for this term, all you plagiarists out there) but I am afraid that “Aflockalypse” has already caught on. Regardless of what one calls the sudden mass die-offs of animal populations happening around the globe, they have occurred in an uncommonly large grouping in an unnervingly short period of time. And they seem to be continuing, giving some the distinct foreboding of a looming ecological or all-encompassing apocalyptic future. Are all the dead birds and dead fishes (and other dead beasts) signs, warnings, or omens of the coming of The End, whatever end that might be?
Of course, all of the mass death occurrences of dead birds and fish might have reasonable explanations (and most likely do), but they certainly seem ominous. To make them less so, and just to put everything in order, here’s the “AflockaList” (trademark — I want attribution for this, too, thieves) a timeline of the signs of the Aflockalypse.
The AflockaLIst: Signs of the Aflockalypse
December 30 — Arkansas fish kill — near 100,000 dead fish: drum
December 30 — Brazil fish kill — millions of dead fish (at least 100 tons): sardines, croaker, catfish
December 31 — Arkansas bird kill — 5,000 dead red-winged black birds
December 31 — Vietnam fish kill — 150 tons of dead farm fish: red tilapia
January 1 — Kentucky bird kill — dozens of dead blackbirds
January 3 — Louisiana bird kill — 500 dead birds: red-winged blackbirds, grackle, starlings
January 4 — Ontario fish kill — hundreds of dead fish
January 4 — Florida fish kill — thousands of dead mullet, ladyfish, catfish
January 4 — Tennessee bird kill — 120 dead birds: grackle
January 4 — Sweden bird kill — 50-100 dead birds: jackdaw
January 5 — Maryland fish kill — 2 million dead fish: spot
January 5 — Texas bird kill — 200 dead birds: American coot (mud-hen)
January 5 — New Zealand fish kill — hundreds of dead fish: red snapper
January 6 — England crab kill — 40,000 dead devil crabs (also: starfish, sea urchins, anemones, sponges)
January 6 — South Carolina fish kill — hundreds of thousands of dead fish: menhaden
January 6 — Tennessee bird kill — hundreds more dead birds found around Nashville, in Davidson and Montgomery Counties: grackle
January 6 — Italy bird kill — 1000 dead birds: turtle doves
An extensive list, the Aflockalypse AflockaList, to be sure. And the mass kill phenomenon doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Check back for updates to the AflockaList.
“Massive fish kill blankets Arkansas River,” CNN.com
Nick Pisa, “More than 1,000 turtle doves fall from the sky in Italy in latest mass bird death case,” Telegraph.co.uk