Migratory Bird Die-off in Great Lakes Region Prompts DEC Investigation

More than 100 dead loons and other migratory birds washed up on Great Lakes shores in mid-November, prompting the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to suspect another botulism-poisoning episode linked to the spread of invasive species.

DEC is investigating the die-off and, although results are not complete, preliminary evidence closely matches die-offs related to type E botulism that have occurred during fall migration every year since 2000 on Lake Erie, and since 2002 on Lake Ontario, according to state Wildlife Pathologist Ward Stone.

. . .

To Report Ill or Dead Fish and Birds

If you must handle dead or dying birds or fish, use rubber or plastic protective gloves or a plastic bag. Any discovery of dead or distressed fish or wildlife, such as waterbirds showing a condition known as “limberneck” that results from paralysis of the neck muscles, should be reported to DEC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife office in Buffalo at 716-851-7010, Allegany at 716-372-0645, Avon at 585-226-2466, Syracuse at 315-426-7400, Cortland at 607-753-3095, Watertown at 315-785-2261 or Cape Vincent at 315-654-2147. Also, see Type E Botulism Questions and Answers for more information.

Click on Title link to view entire article. Thanks to Environment DEC for the submission.

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