Fukushima Diary reports: Fukushima citizen, “We didn’t see bugs this summer, children are made carry a portable shrine in black rain”
Majia Here: I've reported previously on the disappearing cockroaches from my yard, beginning in Aug of 2011. (Cockroaches MIA http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/more-on-missing-cockroaches.html )
June bugs were also missing in action this spring.
We have seen a lot of butterflies this fall, so they seem unaffected (August is peak butterfly season for my county)
However, one of my graduate students noted that the sticky tape he puts out to catch insects was almost empty this summer, and he didn't have to change the tape, when ordinarily he must change it regularly.
My research suggested that the insects most likely to be affected are ones that live in the dirt.
Cockroaches essentially breathe through the dirt and therefore are susceptible to deposition.
The cockroaches in my yard mainly lived in two sizeable raised beds where we grow our tomatoes, peppers, watermellon and flowers.
I saw no changes in the pepper plants this summer, other than one plant grew huge.
We had relatively few tomatoes this year, but that could have been from a delay in planting them. Once it reaches 100 degrees here in Phoenix tomato plants don't produce fruit.
Our big crop failure this year was the watermelon plants. We planted many (at least 8) and only 1 grew. It grew pitifully and produced one tiny watermelon. Phoenix is ordinarily great for growing watermelons and I've been successful in the past; although, last summer was pretty bad also, though not as bad as this year.
There were two other animal variations that I noted (with my family).
First, the population of hermit crabs was VERY greatly diminished at a beach in San Diego CA we've been going to since the 1980s. Everyone in my family noted their low numbers. I found research that documented hermit crabs as the animal that bio-accumulated the most cesium in the Atolls after the atomspheric testing there decades ago.
Speculation on Hermit Crabs in San Diego http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/speculation.html
Second, the quail population was significantly reduced in both Scottsdale (where I live) and Sun City West, where a relative lives.
Fukushima radiation is affecting the plant and animal life in Japan.
It may very well be affecting the animal life in North America.
These anomalies may be caused by Fukushima or they may reflect unsettling local influences.
What ever is the cause, I don't believe it bodes well for our eco-system.
Nature: Has the Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Already Arrived?Table 1: The ‘Big Five’ mass extinction events From Barnowsky et al., Nature 471, 51–57 (03 March 2011) doi:10.1038/nature09678