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Undiagnosed die-off, penguins - chile

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  • Undiagnosed die-off, penguins - chile

    A ProMED-mail post
    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases

    [1] Date: 30 Mar 2009
    Source: The Scotsman [edited]

    Chilean authorities are investigating the deaths of nearly 1500
    penguins. The dead birds were found on Saturday [28 Mar 2009] at
    Caleta Queule, more than 1240 miles north of Antarctica. Experts from
    the nearby University of Valdivia are working to determine what killed

    Navy Lt. Rodrigo Zambrano says experts from the nearby University of
    Valdivia are working to determine what killed them. They did not know
    immediately where the penguins were from.

    University veterinarian Roberto Schlatter tells state television that
    experts also are trying to establish the penguins' ages. It is not
    unusual for some penguin species to migrate thousands of miles.

    Communicated by:
    ProMED-mail Rapporteur Susan Baekeland

    Date: Sunday, 29 Mar 2009
    Source: Patagonia Times

    In just the past few days, hundreds of dead Magellanic penguins
    (_Spheniscus magellanicus_) have washed ashore in Chile?s Region XI,
    the daily La Tercera reported Sunday.

    So far experts are in the dark about what's killing the sea birds,
    more than 800 of which have been found on the beaches of Las Ni?as and
    Los Piojos near Queule.

    Rodrigo Zambrano, a maritime official in Valdivia (Region XIV), said
    the penguins do not appear to be poisoned in any way. He said
    Magellanic penguins are periodically killed by fishing boat nets, but
    never by the hundreds. 4 of the bird carcasses have been sent to
    Valdivia?s Universidad Austral for testing.

    Magellanic penguins are native to the waters around Chile and
    Argentina. Although they are not an endangered species, they are
    vulnerable to oil spills and ?- according to a penguin expert from the
    University of Washington ?- climate change. Rising temperatures are
    displacing fish, forcing Magellanic penguins to swim an average of 25
    miles further from their nests in search of food, professor Dee
    Boersma discovered. The extra "commute" is also shortening their
    breeding period, she found.
    [Written by LA TERCERA]

    Communicated by
    ProMED <>

    [In the past, penguins have died of malaria, influenza, and
    starvation. We look forward to the veterinarians' report of the
    findings on these birds. - Mod.TG

    ...and of Newcastle disease picked up from chicken bones thrown out
    with the garbage from thoughtless Antarctic research stations.

    Photo of Magellanic Penguin (_Spheniscus magellanicus_):
    Photo of Caleta Queule:
    (the caption says it is in Region IX, a typo for Region XI)
    Location map of Chile:
    Map showing Region XI in green near the south end of Chile, where
    Caleta Queule is located, (click at bottom of map to enlarge);
    - Mod.JW]

    [see also:
    Undiagnosed deaths, penguins - New Zealand 20071202.3889
    Undiagnosed deaths, penguins - Falkland Islands 20021216.6079]
    .................................................. tg/msp/jw