Skip to main content

Mercury can lead to extinction of Arctic bird

Threats from various sources have contributed to a 70 per cent decline in the bird’s population in Canada

An ivory gull (Photo: Abigor/flickr)An ivory gull (Photo: Abigor/flickr)Mercury pollution has risen nearly 50-fold in the feathers of a breed of Arctic bird over the past 130 years, says a BBC report that quotes a few scientists.
The researchers, according to the report, analysed feather samples of the ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea) from the Canadian Arctic and western Greenland from 1877 to 2007. They found the bird had been exposed to mercury for decades. Scavenging on the carcasses of whales, seals and other mammals killed by predators such as polar bears was the primary source of mercury consumption.
Days before this, in January, the very rare Arctic bird was spotted in US' Quincy, bringing many bird watchers to the city.
Meanwhile, in a study published in PLOS One, it has been highlighted that since ivory gulls avoid flying over open water, scientists suggest birds may vary their migration route with the variations in sea ice formations. Breeding populations of the bird are presently found in Svalbard (Norway), Greenland (Denmark) and Russia [18], as well as the Canadian high Arctic.
"The ivory gull is an endangered seabird that spends its entire year in the Arctic environment. In the past three decades, threats from various sources have contributed to a 70 per cent decline in Canada," says the study.

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…