Aflockalypse: 1 in 6 Bird Species Threatened With Extinction

A lot of theories have been floated over the past week or two to explain the freakish bird deaths reported in Arkansas, Kentucky, Sweden, and in other cities and countries around the world. This isn't the end times; it's relatively routine, according to John Roach, who has the real story at

"That is a story that is due to habitat loss and global climate disruption and a variety of global causes like that. That is something we were worried about last year, and we should be worried about now, and it is something that we should be worried about 10 years from now," he said. "But I don't think they have anything to do with the current events."

The current events are "the kind of thing we deal with everyday," said Krysten Schuler, a wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who helps maintain a database on wildlife die-offs. Whether or not mass die-offs are on the uptick is uncertain - the biologists only know about those that are reported. They suspect that many, perhaps most, are never brought to their attention.

What's different over the past few days is more people are noticing the die-offs and, at least for the moment, reporting them. This may be the result of technology - cell phones, the Internet, and instant global communications, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The USGS' Schuler told me the flood of reports will likely die down in a few weeks once the current media buzz abates.

Read the full story at