Birds are disappearing from the forests near Los Alamos


Canary in a coal mine

❝ Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory recently published a paper about bird populations on the Pajarito Plateau…

Jeanne Fair’s team conducted this study from 2003 to 2013 on several hundred acres on the Pajarito Plateau. It revealed a 73 percent decrease in the abundance of birds and a 45 percent decrease in the diversity of birds…

❝ Fair is a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory with a focus on epidemiology and animal disease ecology. She is the principal investigator for a long-term research project on the impacts of contaminants on avian populations…

I still chuckle when someone “discovers” that previously-acceptable levels of radioactive exposure and contamination are no longer OK. Forgive my cynicism; but, I worked in a research lab decades ago where half the scientists and researchers told exactly the same tale of work and radiation. Whichever lab handed over their paychecks in the name of “defense” and atomic weapons – made no difference. Every couple of years new research was announced describing how the level of radiation they were accumulating was considered safe no longer. They’d have to move on to a new job, less radiation, until they finally ended up on my turf – developing metallurgy for atomic power generating electricity. No radioactive sources on the premises.

I pay heed to those scientists whose analysis concludes that NO level of added atomic radiation is safe.