Worse for the Tern
Here’s another possible casualty of the war on terrorism: migrating birds. An Indian ornithologist announced today that more than 200 species of birds that migrate from central Asia to India every year could be adversely affected by chemicals in the bombs exploding in Afghanistan. Such birds, including the Siberian crane, the shoveller duck, the crested poacher, and the Arctic tern, begin their roughly 4,000 mile journey in late October or early November and stop at many wetlands in Afghanistan. Abrar Ahmed, a senior program officer with India’s chapter of the World Wildlife Fund, said chemicals in the bombs may enter the birds’ bodies, where they could disrupt breeding cycles, make egg shells thin and susceptible to early breakage, and affect the birds’ ability to weather the long return trip in the spring.