A conservation group has confirmed that over 600 vultures have already died in an ongoing die-off event in West Africa. According to experts, the exact cause of the deaths of the birds is not yet clear.
The latest mass animal die-off event was reported by the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF). It was detected in the West African country of Guinea-Bissau.
The VCF confirmed the die-off event last month after receiving reports that about 200 vultures were found dead in the eastern province of Bafata. Then, the death toll increased substantially until it reached 648 on Feb. 28. Experts believe more vultures will die in the region as the die-off event continues.
Due to the high number of deaths within a short period, investigators initially believed that the birds were poisoned. However, after further investigations, authorities ruled out poisoning since this kind of incident tends to appear only in concentrated areas. Currently, investigators and conservation experts are still trying to determine the exact cause of the die-off.
The mysterious event has prompted the country’s Ministries of Public Health, Agriculture and Forestry and the Secretary of State for the Environment to deploy quick response teams to Bafata in an attempt to contain the die-off. To minimize the possible spread poison, virus or infection to other vultures, the response teams have started incinerating the carcasses.
Courtesy of ibtimes.com