Gannets found dead near Tracadie undergoing bird flu testing


A Nature New Brunswick biologist says at least 18 wild birds have been found dead on the Acadian Peninsula in the past few days.

The cause of death is not yet known, but Lewnanny Richardson said the birds had been sent for testing and bird flu was a possibility.

He said that in addition to the 18 dead birds, some that were still alive had tremors – a symptom of bird flu.

Richardson said the situation was worrying.

“The problem is that the gannet is a colonial species, he says, they all live together on Bonaventure Island near Gaspé… and since it’s a colonial species, it can transmit the flu very quickly.

Dead gannets have also been found in the Magdalen Islands in recent days.

Although there are no colonies in New Brunswick, the birds travel to the Maritime provinces to feed, said Richardson, who has been on the ground since April.

Environment and Climate Change Canada performs necropsies on dead birds. (Submitted by Lewnanny Richardson)

“I saw my first pair of gannets that died last Wednesday,” he said.

From there, Richardson said he saw 11 dead birds on Thursday and his staff began finding more.

Richardson said Environment Canada and Climate Change have collected specimens and are performing necropsies on them.

CBC has contacted the Federal Department for more information, but has not yet received a response.

Richardson advises the public to avoid birds if they display strange behavior.

Signs that the bird may be a carrier of the flu include prolonged time on the beach and shaking.


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