The Christchurch City Council, NIWA and Fish and Game New Zealand are working collaboratively to determine the cause of birdlife deaths at Christchurch's oxidation ponds�and other wetland areas in the eastern parts of the City.
In recent weeks a number of birds have been found dead along the banks of the oxidation ponds located at the Christchurch wastewater treatment plant.
Investigations by local ornithologists and vets�at Massey University�are now being conducted.�The initial diagnosis of the deaths is Avian botulism, a natural phenomena which has occurred around the world and in New Zealand wetland areas.
Specialist testing is being undertaken to confirm this initial diagnosis and the Council hopes to have this information by mid�February 2012. Until the exact cause of the bird deaths is known, the Council recommends the public�and any pets�stay away�from�infected or dead birds.
If any dead or infected birds are encountered in the Bromley area, please contact the Council on (03) 941 8999.�
Information on Avian Botulism: A paralysing, often fatal disease which is caused by a botulism bacterium.
Birds suffering from the bug will have sluggish movements, and will struggle to use their wings, raise their heads or feed.
The toxin thrives in still, shallow, warm water including waterways or ponds.
Avian botulism cannot be transferred to humans.
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