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67 waterfowl found dead of avian botulism in Kahului

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:57 a.m. HST, Jun 23, 2012

In a week, 67 birds have been found dead of avian botulism at Kahana Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Kahului, the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife said Friday.

The dead birds include adult and juvenile Hawaiian Stilt, Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Ducks.

Department officials are asking private and public landowners and managers to survey their wetlands because botulinum toxin can be produced in most wetlands, and transported to new wetlands by dead or dying waterfowl.

Earlier this year a botulism outbreak in Hanalei, Kauai resulted in over 300 sick and dead birds being collected by federal wildlife refuge staff. Additionally, numerous other botulism fatalities have also been reported at wetlands throughout the state.   

Botulism is a paralytic condition brought on by the consumption of a naturally occurring toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

State officials ask that the public report deaths of waterbirds to the District DOFAW Office on your respective island.

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