Infectious Diseases 2004

Infectious Diseases 2004

A major ecological catastrophe in Greek nature preserve of Lake Koronia

11 September, 2004

The mass deaths of birds at Lake Koronia in the north of Greece, which initially had been treated by news broadcasts as a mysterious pathological phenomenon, is turning into a massive ecological disaster with incalculable consequences for rare and protected species "an ecological catastrophe". The disaster has wiped out 29 kinds of birds, only four of them game (the lake is a hunting area), while many are endangered species that are endemic to the wetlands of northern Greece. This is also the migratory season, with many species flying over to Africa, and the lake is a stopping point for a large number of birds.
Although toxicological tests have not yet been completed, scientists lean toward the conclusion that the cause of the disaster is the development of a toxin-producing bacterium that is found in the lake's invertebrate population, which makes up the birds' food. The spread of the bacterium is attributed to a number of causes, most of which are linked to the pollution of the lake and the degradation of its environment.