An investigation is underway in Mackay, Australia, over the mysterious deaths of hundreds of seabirds.
According to ABC News, The Department of Environment and Science advised that officers removed over 240 dead black noddies from the marina. Chemical films were found on the birds’ feathers, so officials believe a chemical may be responsible for the deaths; samples are currently being collected to determine the pollutant.
Department official Michael Short describes the chemical film as light and greasy, and it weakened the feathers’ ability to thermoregulate and keep the birds warm.
Short stated the following:
“The birds have a normal body temperature between 39 and 41 degrees Celsius, so with current sea temperatures around Mackay, probably around 25C.”
“The birds get really cold and they can actually die from hypothermia.”
“They certainly stop feeding and drinking.”
The investigation to determine the pollutant extends offshore 90 km to Bushy Island, where an additional 140 birds were found dead.
“The process is to certainly look at why the animals are getting sick, what are some of the causal factors there, so we can actually meet whatever the health needs are for the animals.”
“That’s in terms of is there some issue happening internally that we need to get some special treatment to, to try and better understand where we can care for these animals to try and rehabilitate them.”
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: ABC News
Adair, M. (2021, September 3). Chemical pollution suspected as seabirds drop dead in the water in Mackay. ABC News. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-03/dead-black-noddy-seabirds-mackay-marina/100431874.