Friday, February 03, 2006

Heavy Stuff!

From Bill& Els: A project has started looking at the incidence of avian diseases and the possibility of the presence of the H5N1 virus in our waterfowl. The go-ahead has also been given to look at gulls as carriers and up to 150 will be swabbed along with a seriological assay on each bird.
Last week we captured 20 Wood Duck and a Masked Lapwing with the help of a zap net. This is a net dragged out over the birds by strong bungee chords. The area was pre- fed for a week in
order to attract the birds and this worked well. With a species like Wood Duck, which spends much of its' time out of water, it may be possible to learn more of their movements by using flags in the same way as used on waders. The next target will probably be hybrid Mallard x Black Ducks as they appear to be of most concern as potential carriers and vectors of disease. Their lack of fear of humans also makes them easier targets for the project.


Anonymous said...

Might be a good time to be suggesting culling flocks of semi domestic and Mallard crosses. Far too many around Hobart.

John Tongue said...

Might not be a bad idea to do some culling of these hybrids right across the State, but I think it's probably wise to rely on them for this important study first.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking that it would be possible to combine the two!