South American swans decimated

Nov 22, 2005

The World Wildlife Federation says a recently opened pulp mill in Chile has devastated one of South America's most biologically outstanding wetlands.

"What was probably the largest population of black necked swans in South America has been wiped out in less than a year," said Clifton Curtis, director of World Wildlife Fund's Global Toxic Program. "It is an environmental catastrophe,"

The Carlos Anwandter Nature Sanctuary, covering more than 12,000 acres in southern Chile, was home to more than 100 species of rare, vulnerable, or in at least two cases, endangered species of birds.

"This was an area once teeming with water birds," said David Tecklin, a WWF ecoregion coordinator. "Now, within the space of just months, it has become an empty expanse of brown, polluted water."

The WWF affirmed earlier findings by Austral University of Chile that pulp waste from the plant owned by CELCO, Chile's largest timber conglomerate, is most likely responsible for the catastrophe.

"It was heart-rending. We talked to people in Valdivia who said they saw emaciated swans fall from the sky, landing on rooftops and cars," Curtis said. "They were so weak they were unable to carry their own weight."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Archaeologists open the mysterious lead coffin found buried just feet from the former grave of King Richard III

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CT scan taken of mummified remains in statue

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —A CT scan and endoscopy have revealed a master's mummy inside a Buddha statue. These were mummified remains of an ancient Buddhist monk who lived during the 11th or 12th century. Investigations ...

Trial nears in high-profile Silicon Valley sex bias case

5 hours ago

(AP)—A jury was picked Monday to determine whether a venerable Silicon Valley venture capital firm is liable in a sexual discrimination lawsuit or is the victim of a former employee forced out because of ...

Recommended for you

Teachers become healthier when they learn

8 hours ago

Several studies have indicated a connection between learning and health. In a recently published study from University West and Linnaeus University the researchers found that the health of school teachers ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.