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New Zealand - Thousands of blue penguins wash up dead on northern beaches

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  • New Zealand - Thousands of blue penguins wash up dead on northern beaches

    Thousands of dead blue penguins thought to have washed up on northern beaches

    MICHAEL DALY

    Last updated 12:46, April 16 2018

    Large numbers of dead blue penguins have been washed up on northern east coast beaches this summer, with the total number thought to be in the thousands.
    ...
    Reports of dead penguins had been coming in from east coast beaches from Bay of Plenty north since the start of the year.
    ...
    The number of deaths was probably a result of a change of weather patterns - during the penguin breeding season, there was an El Niño pattern, with cold waters creating rich food supplies and successful breeding, Taylor said.

    In the late spring, La Niña took over. The water rapidly warmed, pushing cooler currents to the bottom, and with them the food supply.
    ...
    Auckland Zoo said it had seen more than five times the number of the penguins it would normally treat.
    ...

    - Stuff

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/...rthern-beaches


    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Saturday, 21 April 2018

    Avian malaria increases penguin deaths

    By Hamish MacLean
    Regions North Otago
    ...

    Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust conservation science adviser Dr Trudi Webster, of Dunedin, said while avian malaria was not a new disease for the birds, it was increasingly significant this year after a wet winter and a warm spring and summer.

    "There may have been cases [of avian malaria], but there don’t seem to have been consistent numbers of cases like there were this year," Dr Webster said.
    ...
    About 250 breeding pairs existed on the New Zealand mainland and the disease was believed to have affected birds throughout their South Island range - from Banks Peninsula to the Catlins, she said. North Otago and Otago Peninsula had been hardest hit.
    ...
    "I think what’s potentially happened this year is that we’ve had a higher number of vectors - in this case it’s mosquitoes - so more mosquitoes and therefore the higher number of deaths."
    ...
    She did not know whether a particular species of mosquito was to blame, but "quite a few species do carry it".
    ...

    https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-...penguin-deaths
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

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