A STATE PARK IN ST. IGNACE HAS EMERALD ASH BORERS IN A "TRAP TREE". While grand efforts have been made the past several years to keep people from bringing wood (camp fire wood) from lower Michigan, the borer has reached the U.P. The Brimley area had several trees cut down a couple of years ago, now possibly the park in St. Ignace will as well...depending on whether there is any $$ to do it with!
And the following is a sad story of dead birds washing up on lakeshores of Michigan. I wonder if it is happening in Wisconsin as well?
Botulism suspected in bird die-off
BY SHERI McWHIRTERsmcwhirter@record-eagle.com
ELK RAPIDS -- Dead birds are washing ashore in Antrim County and environmental experts suspect botulism is to blame.
The die-off could be the first outbreak in Grand Traverse Bay since a recent resurgence of the disease along Lake Michigan shorelines.
"I walk on the beach every day and I've seen some dead birds," said Sherri DeCamp of Elk Rapids, who lives along the lakeshore north of town. "I would guess we see four or five each day, new ones."
Reports of dozens of dead loons and grebes along the eastern shore of East Grand Traverse Bay are a likely sign of a Type E botulism outbreak, an increasingly frequent event in northern Michigan, wildlife officials said.
"We hadn't had any major outbreaks since 1983 until last year," said Tom Cooley, a biologist at the wildlife disease lab of the state Department of Natural Resources.
This week, DNR officials collected 20 bird carcasses from the beach a couple of miles north of Elk Rapids. They will be tested for botulism next week.
The problem occurs when invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels filter naturally occurring botulism toxin from the water. It concentrates the bacteria for fish and birds that become infected after consuming the mussels.
"It's an easy way for the birds to be exposed to the bacteria," Cooley said.
Resulting fish and bird die-offs were reported across northern Michigan in the last several years, including at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, in Emmet County, and parts of the Upper Peninsula. As many as 3,000 dead birds were reported between August and October last year along the Lake Michigan coastline in Benzie and Leelanau counties.
"What we've seen here is not as many as at Sleeping Bear Dunes last year," said Graydon DeCamp, Sherri's husband. "But there are several on the beach right now."
Recent warm weather may have contributed to the suspected outbreak near Elk Rapids, said Keith Kintigh, DNR wildlife biologist.
"Based on the trend, I suspect this may become an annual thing," he said.
Andy Knott, executive director of the Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay, said the new case is alarming because it appears to be the first case inside the bay and the outbreak has claimed loons.
"This is a warning that we need to stop invasive species from entering the Great Lakes. Who knows what the next wave of invasive species will bring?" Knott said.
Sensitive bird species are counted among the dead at various Michigan beaches, such as Caspian terns, common loons and the endangered piping plover. A dead bald eagle from Benzie County also tested positive for botulism, Cooley said.
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