The notion that tailings pond duck deaths should be trivialized because of how many birds die through other means is getting under my skin. (On occasion I read comments associated with online media, which I have to admit is the source of this frustration.)
Duck deaths in tailings ponds are the result of intentionally dumping duck-deadly effluent into environments where they are likely to land. We really have little idea how many ducks have died in tailings ponds over the years.
Tailings ponds have been present since the 1960s. There appears no reason to believe that duck deaths have not occurred in the past, and we have no way to know the frequency or abundance of these deaths (although we can make estimates).
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