Botulism seen in Upper Peninsula water bird deaths

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Authorities say they've found the bodies of about 700 water birds along a stretch of northern Lake Michigan shoreline in the Upper Peninsula.

The Mining Journal of Marquette (http://bit.ly/PQ1Gun ) says authorities suspect that the birds died of Type-E botulism.

The 694 dead birds were found in Schoolcraft County near the unincorporated village of Gulliver. They include 247 common loons, 152 horned grebes, 98 red-necked grebes, 73 long-tailed ducks and 64 white-winged scoters.

Authorities say there also were smaller numbers of ring-billed gulls, double-crested cormorants, red-breasted mergansers and herring gulls.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says Type-E botulism bacteria cause a toxin that paralyses birds and fish. Similar die-offs happened in the Upper Peninsula in 2007 and near Sleeping Bear Dunes National lakeshore in northern Lower Peninsula in 2006.


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