Mass Deaths Of Migratory Birds In Rajasthan Could Have Been Caused By Avian Botulism

by GoNews Desk 1 month ago Views 691
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Over 1,000 birds from migratory species which were found dead around Sambhar Lake in Jaipur on Nov 12 could have died of avian botulism, it now appears. "Symptom of paralyses in wings suggest death of birds could be due to avian botulism”, says AK Katariya, Professor, Apex Centre for Animal Disease, Bikaner.

The bird species included the Northern Shoveler, Pintail, Common Teal, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Coot Gadwall, Ruff, Black-headed Gull, Green Bee Eater, Black Shouldered Kite, Caspian Gull, Black-winged Stilt, Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Pied Avocet, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover and Lesser Sand Plover.

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Avian botulism is a serious neuromuscular illness of birds caused by a toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and has been recognised as a major cause of mortality in wild-birds since the 1900s, although doubts are being raised over the scale of the Sambhar Lake deaths.

Amid the uncertainty, people from nearby areas have been asked to stay away due to the risk of bird flu.

The Sambhar Lake near Jaipur is a major tourist attraction. Every year, during the start of mild winters, thousands of migratory birds arrive here. 

This year, due to heavy rainfall, there was a good amount of water in the lake, attracting a large numbers of birds.