Mystery as dead ducks litter Lake Wānaka foreshore

by Kim Bowden - Apr 23, 2024

The Ministry for Primary Industries is investigating the deaths of close to 100 birds found beside Lake Wānaka.

Results from toxicology tests are expected back later next week and authorities are hopeful they may provide clues to what happened to the birds.

On Monday members of the public made the grisly discovery, which included 88 dead endemic paradise shelducks.

Local Fish & Game officer Bruce Quirey says staff this morning then confirmed the find at the site at Dublin Bay.

He says the birds were located on the lake margin and in a nearby paddock.

“It’s disappointing to see so many birds gone to waste this close to the opening of the game season in May,” Mr Quirey says.

Among the birds were a black swan, nine Canada geese, and a mallard, in addition to the paradise ducks or pūtakitaki.

Several of them were handed over to a veterinarian contracted to MPI to undertake postmortems and toxicology tests.

While hawks had been attracted to some of the birds littering the ground, the staff inspecting the site found no other signs of physical injury that could have explained the birds' deaths, Mr Quirey says. 

Members of the public are advised not to touch any dead birds found, and to keep pets away and advise authorities.

Main image (Supplied): Dead paradise shelducks litter the shoreline at Dublin Bay in Wānaka, Monday, April 22, 2024.

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