Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Operation planned to stem bird disease outbreak

Media release from Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game

Operation planned to stem bird disease outbreak

Fish & Game believes the disease that has claimed a large number of birds in the vicinity of the Piako River outlet into the Firth of Thames is most likely to be an outbreak of avian botulism.

Auckland Waikato Fish & Game southern gamebird manager David Klee says tests conducted by MAF have returned negative results for the main types of exotic avian disease.

“Given the symptoms that are being exhibited we are confident that the most likely cause of the deaths is avian botulism,” Mr Klee says.

Fish & Game is coordinating an operation on Thursday (February 23) this week involving DOC and the regional council to try and limit or halt any further impact of the disease outbreak.

“It is possible to manage outbreaks of avian botulism by removing dead and dying birds and disposing of them in an appropriate manner.

“However, collecting a large number of carcases over a wide area requires a lot of manpower. That’s why we’ve rallied our game bird hunting licence holders and are calling on other volunteers to help out,” Mr Klee says.

Fish & Game officers last week scoured the area of the outbreak and located around 80 dead birds in the immediate vicinity, and observed at least another 150 exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

Gulls, black shags, grey teal, mallard ducks, grey ducks, pied stilts, white-faced herons and royal spoonbills are some of the species so far claimed by the disease.

Mr Klee says it is impossible to accurately establish how many birds have died because the site is subject to large tidal movements which may have washed dead or dying birds out into the Firth of Thames, beyond the range of Fish & Game’s monitoring.

“We have received reports of birds washing up along the Thames coast and fishermen have reported seeing carcases out at sea.”
Key facts:
What is avian botulism?
It is a serious neuromuscular illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Spores can lie dormant for many years in soil and other substrates until favourable environmental conditions leads to an outbreak. It has the potential to kill large numbers of waterfowl.
Is an outbreak common?
Avian botulism outbreaks often occur at wastewater treatment plant sites as these areas provide the perfect conditions for the bacterium which produces the toxin. Outbreaks typically coincide with periods of hot, dry and calm weather from December to March but can occur outside this period.
Is it a threat to humans?
No. Avian botulism is different to the strain of botulism that affects humans.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news