Nightjars dying in Townsville

Subject: Nightjars dying in Townsville
From: (Alex Appleman)
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 08:26:24 +1000
Each year white throated nightjars migrate through Townsville, stopping off at 
suitable habitat such as the Palmetum or Town Common.  However last year 18 
birds were found roosting high on the steel rafters in the Queensland Rail 
Workshops in South Townsville. Presumably they had been attracted by the lights 
and insect life there. Some eventually left but most remained and died.

This year 6 white throated nightjars have been seen at the workshops, in very 
poor condition.  The cause of their demise is something of a mystery.  Are they 
just disoriented and afraid?  During the day the workshops resonate with rivet 
guns, oxy acetylene torches etc.

One theory is that the workshop  itself is the killer being impregnated to 
toxic levels with DDT in the 1950's.

Any suggestions on how the tragedy can be avoided next year?

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