Mass seabird deaths swamp wildlife trust

Mass seabird mortality is being seen on beaches.

Western Bay and ARRC Wildlife Trusts are handling exceptionally high volumes of birds needing care.

“There is a mass seabird mortality with many dead or dying birds being washed up on the beach,” says ARRC Wildlife Trust director and veterinarian Dr Liza Shneider.

“Many of these are juveniles that cannot survive in this rough weather.”

“Our volunteers work long hours and do everything that they can but we are extremely stretched,” says Liza.

She requests that the public leave dying birds on the beach.

“This is nature taking its course,” says Liza.

“Episodes of mass die off are a natural course of events. Even the best medical care rarely facilitates survival, especially since many of these birds become highly stressed in captivity.”

Diving petrel.

The public is requested to leave uninjured and alert birds alone on the beach to recover. 

“If the bird is under threat because of dogs in the vicinity, please use a towel to cover its wings and beak and place it in a cardboard box,” says Liza.

She stresses that the towel over the bird's sharp beak will help avoid serious injuries that the bird may inflict.

The birds may be taken to Holistic Vets / ARRC Wildlife Trust at 56 Fraser Street between 8am and 5pm on weekdays and between 9am and 12pm on Saturdays.

Over the week-end volunteers can be contacted until 5pm on their designated after-hours numbers.

Liza also advises that people may contact the Western Bay Wildlife Trust.

“Overnight please keep them in a quiet place. If they don't survive, this is nature's course,” says Liza.

“Please keep your dogs off the beach so as not to stress the birds and also to minimise the possibility of your dog becoming ill or injured. Thank you for helping us to look after our wildlife.”

ARRC Wildlife Trust handling exceptionally high volumes of birds needing care.


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