Sleeping Bear bird die-offs sign of larger problems

Zebra Mussel photoAbout a week ago, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported that not only are zebra mussels responsible for the type E botulism outbreak that killed an estimated 2,900 birds on the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore since August, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mass die-offs of fish and birds in Lake Michigan are expected to become more common as invasive species change the ecosystem of the Great Lakes.

It’s not just Lake Michigan either. In 2000, 583 bird death were reported on Lake Erie. The number has risen steadily, with 2004 having 2,771 deaths reported.

We’d like to warn you that there are pictures of dead birds, and then suggest that you read Special Report: Invasive species start to take a toll in the Record-Eagle. Also see Bird die-off update from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Photo credit: empty shells by 1ManWithaCamera.