Feb 08, 2007
More mass bird deaths have been reported in Western Australia but authorities do not believe they are related to the mystery scourge that killed thousands of birds in the state's south a month ago. The department has recently received reports of groups of dead birds - up to as many as 200 - at Yealering, Kellerberrin, Cunderdin, Kulin and Kukerin, in the state's wheatbelt. "The recent deaths have coincided with high temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius and strong winds, and we believe it's most likely the deaths can be attributed to the extreme weather conditions." The birds reported were mostly ring-necked parrots with numbers ranging from a few up to 200. The DEC has also ruled out any connection between the Esperance bird deaths and the death of about 200 treemartins at a house in Narembeen, 240km east of Perth and 380km from Esperance, in early January. The DEC believes those birds also died because of "extreme weather". WA's Department of Environment and Conservation has been unable to determine what killed up to 4000 nectar-eating birds in and around Esperance between December 7 and January 2. The birds were found dead near water sources such as sprinklers and water tanks. The DEC said bird viruses and bacteriological causes had been ruled out as the cause of death and toxins were still the most likely culprit.