Mutton birds are dying more frequently than usual lately, thousands are now being found on the Coffs Harbour to the Tasmanian coasts.
The short-tailed shearwater birds migrate 10,000 km from the Bering Sea, between Japan and Alaska, to Australian shores in September to nest. Dr Lavers suggests that on their long journey down they have very little to eat and slowly die. She said it was normal for wrecks to occur every 10 or so years, and this usually showed a particularly “bad year” for the birds with no fish or bad weather storms. From 2007 regular wrecks have been occurring. Dr Lavers said that ‘we need to start asking who is going in the marine environment?’
The new females arriving in the shore late September are actually carrying eggs for up to a year when they are found dead while their journey with the breeding males.
The freak dying is causing a shock to everybody and wonder what is happening in the ocean to these poor animals. Anyone who sees sick or injured wildlife is advised to call the department on 136 138 or RACV Wildlife Connect on 13 1111
Check out the full article here. Cover photo credit: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/dead-birds-not-just-a-freak-event-20131030-2wgzd.html