Dept. of Conservation urges more Time for Investigating Avian Diphtheria

Dept. of Conservation urges more Time for Investigating Avian DiphtheriaThe Department of Conservation has asked for more time to look into the problem of avian diphtheria that has affected hordes of yellow-eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsula. The outbreak of this condition has resulted in affecting five breeding sites at the Southern-end.

In order to resolve the growing problem, veterinarians from the New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre, Massey University had met officials from the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. Apart from that they also had a meeting with a scientist from the Penguin Place in Dunedin.

Chicks, which have already died of the avian flu, have been sent to the Massey Centre in Palmerston for an examination to check what could have gone wrong with them. The Avian Diphtheria has been affecting penguins since the year 2002 and has struck after a period of every two years.

Though, the current year has not been that fatal and Doc Ranger Mel Young expressed relief about the fact that this year was not as bad as had been expected earlier. The high rate of infection had however put the whole situation to be as very scary around a few weeks ago.

The reduction in the severity of the outbreak this year has been basically because of the untiring efforts of the officials, who were able to limit the spread of infection by providing timely treatment to chicks.

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