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.

2 thoughts on “Birds are disappearing from the forests near Los Alamos

  1. Koyaanisqatsi says:

    “TA-21 cleanup enters second phase” (Los Alamos Monitor April 1, 2019) “Located on DP Mesa, Tech Area 21 was built during the spring and summer of 1945 and was used for chemical and metallurgical work, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    The site was eventually divided into two areas, DP East and DP West.
    East was for Tritium research, and West was for inorganic and biochemistry research. The site was mostly closed down in 1977 as work was transferred to a new plutonium facility.”
    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for TA-21 (2004)
    See also Site-wide Technical Area Boundaries Map

  2. Cassandra says:

    “Birds are vanishing from North America” (New York Times 9/19/19) The number of birds in the “United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago.
    The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt yet to learn what is happening to avian populations. The results have shocked researchers and conservation organizations.
    Experts have long known that some bird species have become vulnerable to extinction. But the new study, based on a broad survey of more than 500 species, reveals steep losses even among such traditionally abundant birds as robins and sparrows.

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