Déjà vu in Sambhar- Over 49 crows die in 3 days, samples sent to Bhopal
More than 49 crows have been found dead in Sambhar tehsil of Jaipur district in Rajasthan in the past three days, rekindling fears of a repeat of 2019, when at least 18,000 birds died in the area.
Most of the dead crows were found within a 500-metre radius of the Sambhar municipality’s dumping yard. A pigeon, five crows and a goshawk were found injured. These birds are now being treated in a nearby rescue centre.
A team from the forest and animal husbandry departments November 20, 2021 reached the spot where the dead birds had been reported. They collected four samples and sent them to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bhopal.
The deaths have led to speculations about bird flu being the cause. The week before, 189 demoiselle cranes had died at Jodhpur’s Kaparda pond.
Seven more cranes died on November 20. Samples of the dead birds were examined. The cause of death was ascertained to be bird flu of the H1N1 strain.
‘Our team is engaged in the rescue and investigation process. We sent four samples to Bhopal November 20. We will be able to reveal the cause of death only after we have the reports in hand,’ Baluram Saran, a ranger from the forest department told this reporter. Migratory birds are under observation in Jodhpur and other areas after the death of the demoiselle cranes and the revelation that bird flu was the cause.
Security has been beefed up in the Desert National Park as well, which is home to the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard.
Waterholes frequented by the bustards are under watch. Hatchlings are being watched so as to keep them away from migratory birds.
Bustard habitat too is under observation by officials of the Rajasthan Forest Department as well as national agencies.
The cause of death of over 18,000 birds in and around Sambhar lake in 2019 was ascertained to be avian botulism, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, had said in a report released on November 21, 2019.
Botulinum is a natural toxin produced by a bacteria known as Clostridium botulin. It produces the toxin when it starts reproducing.
Botulinum affects both humans and animals but the type of the toxin varies — botulinum C in birds and A, B and E in humans. The toxin has been recognised as a major cause of mortality in wild birds since the 1900s.
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