Black kites dropping dead from the sky in north Queensland, as scientists blame pigeon-related disease
Scientists believe a pigeon-related disease known as canker is behind a spate of bird of prey deaths in north Queensland. Black kites were reportedly dropping dead from the sky in the state's north claiming an unknown number of the medium-sized raptors.
Biosecurity Queensland has run months of laboratory tests on several black kites, also known as firebirds, and ruled out exotic diseases like avian influenza and Newcastle disease. Latest test results show they died as a result of trichomoniasis, an infection caused by a parasite, a disease common in pigeons.
"The exact route of infection to the kites in this case is unknown,'' a Biosecurity Queensland spokesman said. "However, possible causes could include kites (a bird of prey) feeding on a diseased infected bird. And/or a parent kite feeding infected meat to their young.''
Staff in north Queensland continue to monitor the region for bird mortalities.
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