Saturday, February 19, 2011

ProMED-mail picks up the Mara fish die-off

ProMED-mail is a mailing list from the International Society of Infectious Diseases.  The mailing list is devoted to reporting potential infectious diseases as they emerge.  The last fish die-off was just picked up by their mailing list.  Here are a few of their comments in response to the Standard article:

A heavy flood can wash soil, sediment, and a variety of chemicals,
plant life, animal waste, etc. into a water drainage area, such as the
river. While agricultural chemicals may be involved it seems extremely
early to be making such comments.

A full necropsy of the fish, and appropriate testing should help us
understand what is happening here. However, unless the dead fish are
cleaned up, they will soon be a perfect medium for the growth of
bacteria that can produce botulism. Then when other animals, such as
birds consume the dead fish or the maggots infecting the dead fish,
then they will be poisoned by botulism and we will be hearing about a
host of dead birds in the same area.

See their full post on it here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More fish die in the Mara...

We've been getting some emails from friends in the Mara River Basin that tell us a large fish die-off has just occurred in and around the Masai Mara National Reserve.

You may remember that we have previously documented several large fish die-offs in the Mara River over the last few years and we blogged about one in 2009.  The exact causes of this annual event remains elusive...but I aim to shed some light on it with my upcoming research.

This coming summer I will be conducting research that I've entitled, "Sediment fingerprinting in the Mara River Basin: Uncovering relationships between wildebeest, tourism, and non-point source pollution."  I plan on looking at the sources of sediment and non-point source pollution within the protected areas (between Emarti and the lower Mara bridge).  More on this to come soon...

In the meantime, here is a quick round-up of several other massive fish die-offs that have occurred recently in other systems:
Keep an eye on the Mara Triangle Twitter feed for up-to-date info on the current Mara River fish die-off.