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.

Friday 19 July 2019

Fungus DNA may help kākāpō crisis

13 Jul, 2019 5:00am
Feature writer, NZ Herald
The international science effort to determine what's killing kākāpō has begun DNA-sequencing fungus collected from the birds' island home.
Researchers want to rule out the presence of an antifungal resistant strain of the disease aspergillosis, detected in seven dead kākāpō since April. Another 13 birds are still being treated for the disease in mainland vet hospitals, with some not expected to survive.
Dr Andrew Digby, Department of Conservation kākāpō science advisor, says DNA-sequencing would identify exactly what strains of the disease were present on Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) where all the sick birds had come from. Results would be shared with United Kingdom researchers working on a global study of the fungus, including a rise in treatment resistant strains.
Kākāpō is a critically endangered species - there are just 142 adults and 72 chicks in the world. At the height of the current crisis, around 45 birds had been removed from Whenua Hou. Massey University's Wild Base Vet Hospital, Dunedin Wildlife Hospital and Auckland Zoo Vet Hospital are caring for the quarantined kākāpō.
Digby says no new sick birds have been reported in the past three weeks, and 31 had now been returned to Whenua Hou. The international response was ongoing with around 20 individuals or organisations in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia now involved.
"Kākāpō are so unusual and weird that people are willing to give up their time and help."

No comments:

Post a Comment