Safeway on Mill Bay Road is the only large grocery store on the island. And store management expected the barge to bypass Kodiak after its last visit, with a resupply stop scheduled ahead of this past weekend. But snowstorms and gusty weather, including hurricane-force winds, scuttled those plans. “In my entire career, I’ve never seen two successive bypasses,” said Mike Murray, the store director of Kodiak’s Safeway.
Nearly half of Canada's honeybee colonies didn't survive the winter, the largest rate of colony loss in the country in the last 20 years, according to preliminary data. The president of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists calls the finding "pretty disturbing."
December should have sea ice development in Norton Sound. But no sign of ice yet this year. Several storms have moved northward across the western Bering Sea and brought strong winds and bouts of above freezing weather to the Teller area and all of the Bering Strait region.
More than 1,000 domestic poultry and hundreds of wild birds have died or needed to be euthanized in the state since early spring. Since the first case of a deadly strain of avian flu was detected in Alaska in May, more than 1,000 domestic poultry and hundreds of wild birds have died or needed to be euthanized.
In early October Vancouver Island reached a drought Level 4 which impacted wildlife across the coast. After a mass salmon die off in Bella Bella, concern grew regarding drought and a delayed salmon spawning season. Currently east Vancouver Island is at a drought level of 3, which means adverse impacts are possible, while west Vancouver Island is at a drought level of 2 with less likely impacts. Dave Rolson, Tseshaht First Nation’s fisheries manager, said, “Timing is everything, really, when it comes to fish and when it comes to environmental conditions.”
Biologists struggle to single out a leading cause of the caribou population’s decline. Increased wolf predation, changed migration patterns and climate warming affecting food sources can all influence the herd. “It’s going to be another rough winter again this year without caribou,” Selawik resident Norma Ballot said.
A third deer in North Carolina has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reported the deer was hunter-harvested in Surry County this archery season approximately 10 miles from the two previous positive detections in Yadkin County.
Melting permafrost and severe erosion have plagued the community for decades. The most recent storm brought waves so fierce, the water claimed roughly half of the 80 or so remaining feet of land that stands between the back end of the school and the edge of the Ningliq river.
Record-setting drought conditions have left many of B.C’s streams and waterways too low for salmon to swim up to spawn. Heiltsuk First Nation leaders say hundreds of fish were found rotting in a creek in Bella Bella, B.C., usually teeming by fall with migrating pink and chum salmon.
Die-offs of krill are in some cases associated with hypoxia (low oxygen) excess sediment suspended in the water column and changes in water temperature. There were recent reports of high levels of Alexandrium in water samples in the areas, and Norton Sound Health Corporation is performing some testing of krill samples (see below). There was also an unprecedented storm event only a week ago, unusual for the storm surge and early season.
The number of sockeye returning to Klukshu, Yukon, to spawn began to drop off in the 1990s. This year, hundreds of the bright red fish line the small creek that winds through the village. Neither the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations nor Fisheries and Oceans Canada are sure why the fish have returned after decades of steady decline.
Nome's landscape is physically altered, with raw material scattered wildly, the coastline reconfigured, and camps that anchored generations of subsistence either flattened or gone.
Several communities in the Norton Sound are struggling with contaminated drinking water days after the significant September storm hit the region.
GOLOVIN RESIDENTS ARE IN CLEANUP MODE as their community works to restore power, phone service and clear debris. After the flood waters receded from the weekend’s severe fall storm, some locals are left with feet of sand in their homes. “At my place we’ve got three feet of sand we’re still shoveling out with the crew here, trying to get the sand out of the living area so we can get the sheetrock to go ahead and dry off,” Alaska Senator Donny Olson of Golovin said.
Storms can bring a bounty to the beach - driftwood sometimes or in this case, clams! But be careful out there. There are new concerns about emerging levels of harmful algae in Western Alaska waters, which could impact shellfish and human health.
In a recent report from the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), 16 salmon caught in the Mjólká river in the Westfjords were confirmed to originate from farms. Signs indicate that the salmon originate from open sea farms by Haganes, where a hole in the pen caused part of the stock to escape in August.