More and more animals are being found dead as the mysterious spate of mass bird and fish deaths has turned into a global phenomenon.
Experts were today carrying out tests on around 50 jackdaws found dead in a street in Falkoping, Sweden, that appear to have suffered the same fate as thousands of their cousins who fell from the sky in separate incidents in the U.S.
Swedish experts have said the shock of fireworks being let off near the city, in the south-east of the country, and difficulty finding food may have led to the deaths of the jackdaws.
Many of the birds are believed to have died from stress or as a result of being run over by vehicles while disoriented.
And scientists have also been left baffled by at least 100 tons of sardines, croaker and catfish washing up dead along the Brazil coastline near Paranaguá.
There were more fish deaths reported today in New Zealand, while in England, the carcasses of 40,000 devil crabs are strewn across a beach in Kent.
They are the latest in a spate of incidents which are being blamed on New Year fireworks, thunderstorms, cold weather, parasites and even poisoning.
The internet has been abuzz with conspiracy theories about secret government experiments being behind the deaths, or it being a sign of a looming Armageddon at the end of the Mayan calendar next year.
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The mass deaths include:
- 450 red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings found littering a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- 3,000 blackbirds on roofs and roads in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas
- Thousands of ‘devil crabs’ washed up along the Kent coast near Thanet
- Thousands of drum fish washed along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River
- Tens of thousands of small fish in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
- Hundreds of snapper fish found dead in New Zealand
Tests are being carried out on the dead animals, but results are not expected for several weeks.
Thousands of Brazilian fishermen are struggling to make ends meet after the sale of seafood was temporarily suspended when masses of fish were discovered dead in Paranaguá, Antonina and Guaraqueçaba Pontal do Paraná.
Experts have speculated that cold weather or chemical leaks could be behind the deaths.
Edmir Manoel Ferreira, president of the Federation of Fishermen’s Colony of Parana, said the deaths had been discovered since Thursday last week.
‘On Thursday we began to find a lot of dead fish. One community had to bury 15 tons alone.
‘We are experiencing a very sad situation on the coast.’
Samples of the dead fish have been sent to the Centre for Marine Studies at the Universidade Federal do Parana.
January 6, 2011