- Emergency research underway in Japan after birds found with perplexing deformities — “Something unusual occurring inside their bodies” — Never reported in 500,000 exams done before 3/11 — Now observed at every site across country, some over 1,000 km from Fukushima (PHOTO) (ENENews, June 25, 2014):
Asahi Shimbun, June 25, 2014: [Noboru Nakamura, a researcher at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology] has visited the riverbed [in Fukushima] 20 times [...] looking into whether the earthquake or the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant caused abnormal changes among wild birds. [...] [Researchers] first verified abnormal change [200 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi] in Niigata Prefecture [...] Oct. 24, 2011, a common reed bunting, a small migratory bird, was found with uneven tail feathers that had a moth-eaten appearance. The institute started emergency surveys [...] The most perplexing thing was the overly long feathers [...] Its feathers very reliably grow to a certain length [...] [Kiyoaki Ozaki, Yamashina Institute for Ornithology deputy director-general,] could not imagine a reason for them to be longer. By March 2012, the same abnormality was identified at all research sites across Japan, such as Tochigi, Ibaraki, Tokyo, Shizuoka, Shimane, Kagawa and Fukuoka [over 1,000 kilometers from Fukushima]. The proportion of birds with the abnormality was 13.8 percent. In at least one place, the ratio exceeded 25 percent. Birds born in 2011 account for 97.3 percent of the specimens with the abnormality. [...] Researchers have found feathers that already appear moth-eaten when they split open the sheath. Some birds even grew back feathers with the same deformity after the researchers plucked out older, misshapen feathers. [...] One thing is certain: The common reed [...] pass through or stop in the Tohoku region during their migration.
Noboru Nakamura, a researcher at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology: “In Iitate, I caught a Japanese bush warbler in the net yesterday. It had feathers missing from the back of its head, and its skin was dark on that part. I found the same thing last year and the year before in Minami-Soma. I don’t know the reason.” Continue reading »