Beached shearwaters

To: John Gamblin <>
Subject: Beached shearwaters
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 16:26:18 +1000
I support John Gamblin's plea about the need for the collation
of autopsy results, but not his changing the subject of this
thread to the unspecific "Could I ask".

Some of the media down here (including a radio interview with
the Gould League) have put the shearwater deaths down to the
recent storms. There was also an article in the Herald-Sun today
suggesting a small hydrocarbon spill at St. Kilda could be
responsible for the local shearwater deaths. 

But to me it is incredible that the number and distribution of
the deaths could be due to these causes.  Shearwaters evolved to
go with storms and few of them would have met the St. Kilda
pollution. Every day more and more are found dead and the
Bayside Council has had to set up a procedure for dealing with
enquiries from concerned citizens.

This morning during our foreshore mammal survey we found another
10 or so dead and some were sitting on the sea waiting for the
end. The beachcast bodies are usually intact but are without the
head and - oddly - feet.  The foxes and Pacific Gulls seem to
have left the rest of the corpses.  Perhaps they know something
we don't.

Michael Norris
Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife

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