Botulism May Be Source of Bird-Kill in Northern Indiana

By Peter Ambrose

June 18, 2010 Updated Nov 27, 2007 at 6:59 AM EDT

HANCOCK, Mich. (AP) - A research group estimates that a recent botulism outbreak may have killed as many as 7,500 fish-eating birds along a stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline in northern Michigan.

Michigan-based Common Coast Research and Conservation has
monitored the situation since October. Its volunteers have found dead birds along the lake's shores in both the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula, as well as on Beaver Island and the Manitou Islands.

The cause is believed to be avian botulism. That's a common disease caused by the ingestion of decomposing vegetation and invertebrates that contain a bacterial toxin.

Botulism is an ongoing problem in Lakes Ontario, Erie and Michigan for fish and fish-eating birds.

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