THRISSUR: In what could be the first instance in central Kerala, around half a dozen migratory birds were found dead near the Thrissur Railway station with suspected symptoms of Avian Flu. The fish eating little cormorants, ‘eranda’ in local parlance, were found dead just beneath the trees, the favourite roosting and nesting spot of migratory birds here.
The preliminary analysis throws suspicion on H1N1 (bird flu) outbreak, said Dr K S Thilakan, chief veterinary officer and district coordinator, Animal Disease Control project.
“However, the exact cause of the death can be ascertained only after detailed investigation. We have collected samples of the water birds which will be sent to the Southern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Palakkad, for further investigation, on Wednesday. If the results are positive, the samples will be sent to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory), Bhopal for detailed analysis.
Thilakan rejected the possibility of the birds being poisoned during the course of their migratory journey, officials said. If they were poisoned, it would have been revealed in the first analysis, he said.
Following the reports of bird flu in parts of southern Kerala, extra watch is being kept on the health of migratory birds arriving in the sprawling kole fields of Thrissur where the swampy wetlands offer a compatible winter habitat for feathered guests from central Asian countries and other parts of the country. The migratory species that visit the wetland habitats in the central Kerala include godwits, terns, ospreys, golden plovers, darters, pelicans, and several species of ducks, egrets, heron and waders such as sandpipers and plovers.