Why Are So Many Geese and Pelicans Dead Along the River at Davenport?
There's been a lot of geese and pelicans that have been found dead along the Mississippi River at Davenport and wildlife biologists aren't sure why.
According to the Quad City Times, the carcasses of over 20 Canadian geese were found at the Nahant Marsh in Davenport, with more being found on South Concord Street.
Several months ago, a couple dozen dead white pelicans were found in the river around Bettendorf.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources collected the carcasses to be tested but the cause remains a mystery.
"The downside is there was nothing conclusive," DNR Wildlife Biologist Curt Kemmerer told the Times. "We found issues in a few, including most significantly, very elevated lead levels."
However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it cleaned the lead out of Nahant Marsh in the late 1990s but it's possible that low river levels could have exposed some lead that was missed.
But lead in the marsh wouldn't explain the deaths of pelicans between Bettendorf and LeClaire.
For that, Kemmerer again pointed to the low river levels and the mold and harmful bacteria growing in water that hasn't normally been shallow.
The mystery grows though, as this hasn't been the case across the river in Illinois, which would likely also see many dead birds if river levels were the problem.
If you're out eagle-watching or hiking along the river, you're asked to report any dead waterfowl you see to the DNR if it's 6 or more birds that are in close proximity to each other.