Dead shorebirds

  PICTURED: Dead shorebirds  

Botulism outbreak

By . Photography by Rachel Hufton. 2016 march

Fish and Game and the Miranda Shorebird Centre have expressed concern at an outbreak of avian botulism in the southern Firth of Thames.

The disease, linked to warm temperatures and water with low oxygen content, has killed hundreds of game and migratory birds around the Ramsar Convention-recognised wetland in recent weeks.

Dead ducks and wading birds have been collected by wildlife officers and Department of Conservation staff and samples sent to Massey University for post mortem analysis.

Fish & Game’s David Klee said botulism is symptomatic of severely degraded environments and the extent of the outbreak was upsetting for staff and volunteers.

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