Karnataka

Lab reports on bird deaths awaited

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has been asked to conduct water tests at the lake to assess pollution levels.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has been asked to conduct water tests at the lake to assess pollution levels.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

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Carcasses of 10 Northern Shovelers were found floating in Lingambudhi Lake

The Forest Department in Mysuru is seeking clues from their counterparts in Rajasthan to unravel the mystery behind the death of nearly 10 migratory birds at Lingambudhi Lake in the city.

The carcasses of nearly 10 Northern Shovelers were found floating in the lake on Saturday and morning walkers and birdwatchers alerted the department staff.

They also collected samples and the viscera of the dead birds and sent it to the laboratory for analysis.

The incident comes close on the heels of mass bird deaths reported from the Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan which has been attributed to botulism as per the preliminary reports.

“We are closely following the developments there and are in touch with our counterparts in there to ascertain if there are any similarities in the symptoms that were displayed or in the laboratory findings and whether it is botulism,” said K.C. Prashanth Kumar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Mysuru.

Veterinarians in Mysuru said that botulism affects the nerves and results in the death of the infected birds but is not contagious.

However, an entire flock can get infected when it feed on maggots and insects that in turn have fed on the infected flesh of birds or animals found in the waterbody.

Hence, precautionary measures are being taken to ensure that the carcasses of other birds, if any, are buried promptly and the area sanitised.

The laboratory reports may take at least a week to 10 days, said Mr. Prashanth Kumar, who has also asked the pollution control board to conduct water tests to assess pollution levels.

He said a survey of the lake will also be conducted to identify and rescue other birds if they are displaying symptoms of weakness or demonstrating an inability to fly.

Mr. Prashanth Kumar said Lingambudhi Lake has a large catchment area in the form of stormwater drains and there are instances of UGD being let into it.

Hence the Mysuru City Corporation has been asked to ensure that the UGD leakages are plugged, in a bid to minimise pollution to the lake which is under the control of the Forest Department.

Meanwhile, a meeting of avian specialists and scientists will be convened in due course to discuss the bird deaths and bolster the capacity of the department veterinarians to handle the situation.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 6:17:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/lab-reports-on-bird-deaths-awaited/article29999378.ece

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