As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Mystery surrounds annual WA bird deaths

February 12, 2016 6:12am

Mystery surrounds annual WA bird deaths

Wildlife officers are working to solve a mysterious spate of bird deaths occurring annually in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Littlecorella.jpgScores of corellas have died each February and March for the past five years, according to Department of Parks and Wildlife officer Chris Roy, who says the event coincides with heavy rainfall followed by warm weather.

"The corellas are either consuming or coming in contact with something, we're still not sure what that is," Mr Roy told AAP on Friday.

He said no other bird species had been affected by the mystery illness - with symptoms that include lethargy, poor motor function and green diarrhoea - while toxicology results were yet to yield conclusive results.

"Some of the birds, with a bit of care and rest, come good but others die and others are humanely euthanased by the vet," he said.

Mr Roy said close to 100 corellas died last year, while 30 deaths had been recorded so far this year, with more test samples recently sent to Perth.

DPAW officers had been able to link the deaths to a specific area in the town of Tom Price, known as Area W, which included the local primary school's oval.

"Its a little bit of a mystery. We had a lot of tests done last year and they all came back negative for a cause, so we've got on to it early this year," Mr Roy said.

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