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Unexplained bird deaths on Lake Wānaka

The Wānaka App

23 April 2024, 5:06 PM

Unexplained bird deaths on Lake Wānaka A Wānaka woman collected these birds from the water at Dublin Bay. PHOTO: Supplied

Toxicology reports expected later next week could provide clues to the likely cause of death of about 100 birds found at Dublin Bay this week.

Otago Fish & Game understands the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is leading an investigation into the deaths after a report was received from a member of the public on Monday (April 22).

Fish & Game officer Bruce Quirey said Fish & Game staff found 85 dead paradise shelduck and a mallard duck on the lake margin and in a nearby paddock on Tuesday (April 23).

Dead paradise shelducks litter the shoreline at Dublin Bay on Monday. PHOTO: Otago Fish & Game

“It’s disappointing to see so many birds gone to waste this close to the opening of the game season in May,” Bruce said.

Members of the public also removed a dead black swan, nine Canada geese, three paradise shelduck and a mallard on Monday.

The swan, a Canada goose and some of the paradise shelducks were handed to a veterinarian contracted to MPI for post-mortems and toxicology tests.

Fish & Game staff inspecting the site saw no signs of physical injury causing the birds’ deaths. Some carrion had been consumed by hawks.

Members of the public are advised not to touch any more of the dead birds, but to keep pets away and advise authorities.