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Dozens of sea birds, hundreds of fish, plus turtles found dead on a beach in Queensland, Australia

DEAD birds, turtles and mullet have become a common occurrence at Bongaree’s Airforce Park in recent weeks.
 
Don Early has been cleaning the beachfront for the past five years in ode to his late veteran grandfather and says he’s encountered 14 dead cormorants washed ashore in the past two weeks.
 
“Something is wrong here,” he said.
 
“It’s only a little stretch of beach and I usually find the odd dead bird, but to find 14 in such a short period is strange.
 
“There’s more up further; I’ve found dead turtles and hundreds of dead mullet. And these birds are all the same species.”
 
Don said he’s attempted to call Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Department of Parks and Wildlife up to “10 times”, but to no avail.
 
A Parks spokeswoman told The Bribie Weekly that the birds were found on council land, so the matter was referred to council.
 
But a council spokesman said it was unable to find sign of dead wildlife along the beachfront.
 
“A council officer attended the site following reports of dead wildlife and was unable to locate any dead wildlife,” he said.
 
“Park maintenance crews have also attended the site and have not encountered any dead wildlife.
 
“The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is responsible for the investigation of wildlife deaths and any further questions are best directed to the department.”
 
The Bribie Weekly contacted Bribie Island marine biologist Ben Diggles, but he said he hadn’t heard of anything relating to these deaths.
 
Don said he’d given up on trying to bring attention to the birds.
 
“The birds are still down there and there’s more up near the boat ramp,” he said.
 
“(But) I’ve given up. I can’t go any further with this.
 
“I’ve wasted too much money in calls.”
 
The Department of Environment and Heritage was unable to meet The Bribie Weekly’s deadline for further comment on the matter.
Courtesy of caboolturenews.com.au

150,000 birds killed due to bird flu in South Africa

Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana on Tuesday suspended poultry imports from South Africa with immediate effect following outbreaks of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu.
 
South Africa has confirmed outbreaks of avian flu, which is often transmitted by wild birds, on at least two farms. South Africa and Mozambique banned poultry imports from Zimbabwe this month after a bird flu outbreak there.
 
Botswana, which only imports 5 percent of its poultry needs, said it would no longer buy poultry meat, processed products and feeds from South Africa.
 
“The restriction is a precautionary measure to avoid equal infection here as well as protect our people,” agriculture minister Patrick Ralotsia told Reuters.
 
Zimbabwe imposed a similar ban while Namibia also halted imports from Belgium which has experience an outbreak of bird flu earlier this year.
 
South Africa on Monday ended the sale of live hens throughout the country in a bid to control the outbreak that was detected on the farm of a commercial broiler breeder last week.
 
Poultry producer Astral, which had previously confirmed that H5N8 had been detected at its breeding facilities on the outskirts of the Free State, said on Tuesday it had quarantined the affected site and culled 150,000 birds, around six percent of its breeding stock.
Courtesy of reuters.com
 

Dozens of birds are being found dead in Beddington Park’s lake, Wallington, UK

Concerned residents have reported seeing dozens of dead birds, including ducks and geese, being pulled from a lake at their local park.
 
The witnesses have told how they fear they may have died as a result of the water in the lake at Beddington Park being polluted.
 
An unusual foam and brown scum have been pictured in the lake.
 
Elizabeth Kane, from Forget Me Not Wildlife Rescue, explained that she has been called several times to the park, off Church Road, in Wallington, in the last few weeks to reports of birds in distress.
 
She added: “It could be anything [causing the deaths], which is why I’ve called on the council and the Environment Agency to get the water tested.”
 
Mark Perry, 46, who visits the park regularly, said the damage being done to wildlife in the park is “horrific” and “tragic”.
 
He said: “I started seeing some of the birds looking a little poorly and it’s just snowballed from there.
 
“Although we can’t say for certain what’s going on without testing the water, we are seeing all of the tell-tale signs of botulism, which is a terrible disease for wildfowl to get.
 
“It can cause paralysis, so the birds can just be swimming along fine one minute and the next they can’t move so they’re drowning, which is just horrific.
 
“It’s tragic to watch the wildfowl suffer like that.
 
“The park is just this phenomenal little space but it can be so much better when it’s properly looked after – we have so many kinds of wildlife here, including kingfishers and fish, and people do let their dogs go in that lake too.”
 
While the cause of the water contamination is not yet clear, Mr Perry said he had seen a lot of plant cuttings “rotting” at the end of the lake closest to the iron and stone bridges.
 
“It’s hard to pinpoint a cause but when foliage is left in the lake rotting that can cause diseases to spread, or if a dead bird is not removed from the water, that can cause contamination too,” he added.
 
A spokeswoman for the Swan Sanctuary said botulism is a common problem in shallow lakes and ponds during the summer months.
 
She said: “When it gets hotter and the water level drops in lakes which are already not very deep, bacteria breeds as the water heats up. We have received a fair few calls lately to ponds and lakes across London because this is sadly a common natural phenomenon.
 
“As always, our recommendation is that the local authority digs the lake deeper.”
 
A spokesman for Sutton Council said: “At this stage the environmental team are investigating and will take appropriate action once they have a better understanding of the possible cause.”
Courtesy of croydonadvertiser.co.uk

100 dead gannets have washed up the past couple of months in Massachusetts, USA

Northern gannets on Bonaventure Island in Quebec.
Dead gannets washing up on the shore of southern Maine and Massachusetts have raised suspicions that a toxic algal bloom could be to blame.
 
Chris Dwyer, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, said Friday that approximately 100 northern gannets have been found dead in the region over the past couple of months, most of them on Cape Cod.
 
“It is unusual for gannets to be washing up in those numbers,” Dwyer said.
 
He added he expects that some dead gannets have not been found or reported, but “not a lot more” because their relatively large size and the infrequency of the birds on land make them stand out. One, he said, was found on a golf course.
 
According to WGME, three more northern gannets have been found dead in Maine, one of them on Parsons Beach in Kennebunk.
 
An article by the Cape Cod Times quotes Massachusetts wildlife rehabilitation officials as saying that the condition of the seabirds suggests that some sort of-quick-working toxin may be to blame. Toxins produced by ocean algal blooms have been known to kill marine mammals that have consumed affected fish, the paper reported. Necropsies on the dead birds so far have proven inconclusive, the paper added.
 
Scientists have said that warming ocean temperatures and pollution have contributed to harmful algal blooms that have been reported in recent years in Florida, on the West Coast and, to a lesser extent, in Maine. Scientists have said global climate change is causing the Gulf of Maine to warm up faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans.
 
Dwyer said that there have been reports of an algal bloom off of Cape Cod, but that scientists haven’t confirmed that the birds died from biotoxin poisoning. He said test results from necropsies on the birds, many of which have been found on beaches at Cape Cod National Seashore, aren’t expected back for another two to three weeks.
 
According to the conservation group National Audubon Society, gannets are primarily a pelagic species, staying out to sea when not raising their young or in poor health. The birds’ population declined sharply in the 1800s as humans hunted them and collected their eggs, especially along Canada’s eastern coast, but protections implemented since then have helped the species recover.
Courtesy of bangordailynews.com
 

190,000 birds killed due to bird flu in South Korea

South Korea has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on poultry transportation as it struggles to contain an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus, which has led to the slaughter of some 190,000 birds.
 
The first case in this outbreak of the virus was confirmed in the southern island of Jeju on June 2, and four more cases have been confirmed in different locations across the country.
 
On Tuesday, Seoul raised the national bird flu alert to its highest level, as it counted more than 180,000 chickens, ducks and other birds be culled, the agriculture ministry said.
 
“We hope that the outbreak will be contained soon with the bird flu alert raised to the top ‘grave’ level,” a ministry official told AFP.
 
“Grave” is the final step on the four-level alert system, and means officials can ban any movements of vehicles carrying birds, shut poultry stores or animal slaughterhouses, vaccinate poultry, and disinfect any vehicles on the road.
 
Under the 24-hour poultry transport ban that took effect Wednesday, all birds—and bird farmers—were banned from travelling, with farms subjected to disinfection.
 
The worst outbreak of another strain—H5N6, the most highly contagious strain of avian flu ever to hit the South—was recorded late last year when a record 30 million birds were slaughtered, which sent egg prices soaring.
 
The World Health Organization warned earlier this year that the strain has caused “severe infection” in humans.
Courtesy of phys.org
 

140,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Zimbabwe

One of Zimbabwe’s biggest poultry producers, Irvine’s Private Limited, has culled 140,000 birds following an outbreak of avian influenza at its premises which killed 7,000 others, as the government quarantined the affected site to prevent the spread of the virus.
 
A press statement published by the company Tuesday said that the company had identified and contained a form of avian flu on an isolated site just outside Harare.
 
“Irvine’s, together with the Zimbabwe Veterinary Department, have responded by placing the affected site under quarantine and the entire flock that was affected has been culled and disposed of in accordance with the relevant veterinary regulations,” the company said.
 
Avian flu is a virus that occurs naturally among wild aquatic birds and affects domestic poultry and other birds and animals.
 
Principal director in the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services Unesu Obatolu-Ushewokunze told state media that the outbreak involved the serotype H5 N8 of the avian flu virus which had been spreading around the world since 2010 but had not shown any risk to humans.
 
“All trade partners, veterinary authorities of neighboring countries and the World Organization for Animal Health have been notified as necessary,” she said.
Courtesy of allafrica.com
 

12,000 birds dead due to bird flu in Ituri, Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported three outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5 bird flu among poultry in the northeastern province of Ituri, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday.
 
The virus was detected among ducks and hens in three villages near the border with Uganda, the Paris-based OIE said, citing a report from the Congolese agriculture ministry.
 
The disease caused the death of more than 12,000 birds, with mortality higher in ducks than in hens, according to the report.
 
The H5N8 strain of bird flu has been present in Uganda and the heavy trade of poultry animals and products across the border would have to be considered, the report said.
 
H5N8 bird flu has been found in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since late last year, propagated by wild birds, and has led to massive preventive culling of poultry in countries such as France.
 
The source of the outbreaks in Congo was not yet known and the exact strain of H5 bird flu not indicated.
Courtesy of reuters.com
 

Thousands of animals and birds dead due to a storm in Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

El temporal los golpeó con una masiva mortandad de animales de granja.
The storm hit them with a massive death of farm animals
 
This is indicated by a survey carried out by the Emergency Committee of the Periurban of Comodoro Rivadavia, which created the INTA Experimental Station in conjunction with producers and institutions. Preliminary data show that about 50% of animals from these farms and farms were killed. There were also significant losses in food production and infrastructure.
 
Thousands of dead animals and birds and spoiled food had to be discarded. The consequences of the storm were heavy for the producers of the periurban sector of Comodoro Rivadavia, which on the second day of the onset of rain began to work knowing that the first downpour had already caused serious damage. 
 
On Tuesday night, the INTA Experimental Station (National Institute of Agricultural Technology), together with producers and other institutions, presented the report on damages prepared by the Emergency Committee of the Periurban of Comodoro Rivadavia and zone of influence, which was created To work in this crisis situation with the support of the Carelhue Producers Association, National Agro-Food Sanitation Service (SENASA), the Municipal Commodore Knowledge Agency, the Chubut Development Corporation (CORFO) and other institutions. 
 
The first data of the work, which will later be loaded in a Geographic Information System, indicate that at least 180 of the more than 300 agricultural and livestock producers in the city were affected. It is that in a first sample, as Juan José Magaldi, veterinarian and head of the Experimental Station explained, all producers relieved to a greater or lesser extent were harmed. 
 
“I believe that the affectation is total.If there are differences because there were people who because of the situation of the land did not lose animals, but lost food, infrastructure and corral.That is why I would say that without affectation there is nobody.In addition, but lost animals lost something Of its working capital, “explained Magaldi. 
 
“But the previous thing that one could say is that a lot of animals died.” In adult animals, there is an average of 50%, and the offspring in some cases died in large numbers, as happened with piglets that died in 80%, while chicks Died less than 20%, “he said in an interview that provided El Patagónico with Yolanda González, producer president of Carelhue; And Corina Mercado, a reference and production company in the neighborhood of Sarmiento. 
 
The veterinarian argued that this situation was probably due to a size issue. “Those who had to save animals were first to the weakest, and saved the chicks and drowned the chickens,” he said. To illustrate, he said: “There are a significant number of dead horses for the population that was there, because in the places where the mud entered the horses were stuck.”
Courtesy of elpatagonico.com

Hundreds of migratory birds found dead in Galveston, Texas, USA

(Photo: Josh Henderson, Galveston Police Department)
Hundreds of migratory birds were found dead after an entire flock crashed into the American National Insurance building at One Moody Plaza.
 
Officer workers found the dead birds when they arrived to work early Thursday morning, according to Josh Henderson of the Galveston Police Department’s Animal Services Unit.
 
Henderson says they collected 395 deceased birds, mostly warblers and orioles, that were found outside the building. 
 
The Houston Audubon Society says the bird kill was likely caused by a combination of bad weather and bright lights.
 
They believe Wednesday night’s storms caused the flock to fly lower to the ground and they say bright office lights attract birds which can cause them to crash into buildings.
 
“We encourage building administrators to turn those lights out,” said Richard Gibbons, conservation director for the Houston Audubon Society. “It is less of an attraction to avoid collisions.”
 
The deceased birds will be studied to examine the health of the migratory bird population and prevent more deaths, according to Henderson.
 
Among the hundreds of dead birds, rescuers found three that survived the crash and fell to the ground. They have been taken to the Wildlife Center of Texas for rehabilitation.
Courtesy of khou.com