Scores of wild peacocks die in Pakistani desert

July 31, 2012PAKISTAN - Dozens of wild peacocks have died suddenly in Pakistan, prompting experts to fear an outbreak of the highly contagious Newcastle disease. Officials on Monday confirmed the deaths of at least 60 peacocks in Thar desert, part of southern Sindh province, over the last week. Local media reports say more than 100 of the exotic birds have died. The wildlife ministry said tests were being done to diagnose the cause of death, but said the wild peacocks had been weakened by starvation, deforestation and a lack of safe drinking water blamed on delays to the annual monsoon rains. “Wild peacocks have become susceptible to bacterial and fungal attack, which further suppressed the immunity of the birds that paved the room for viral attack,” it said. Experts are alarmed by the number of deaths, suspecting they may have been afflicted with Newcastle disease, known locally as ranikhet. “We are vaccinating wild peacocks protectively for suspected viral disease, as in 2003 when a few peacocks died from the same symptoms that later proved to be ranikhet,” said Lajpat Sharma, an official in the provincial wildlife ministry. Tahir Qureshi of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also told AFP that he suspected ranikhet was to blame. Newcastle disease is a worldwide problem among birds and sporadic outbreaks can occur frequently. Affected birds suffer from loss of appetite, coughing, sneezing, diarrhoea, and in severe outbreaks a high proportion die. –Terra Daily
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This entry was posted in Acquatic Ecosystem crash, Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Disease outbreak, Drought, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, Extreme Weather Event, Food chain unraveling, Heatwave, Mass animal deaths, Water Crisis - Conflict. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Scores of wild peacocks die in Pakistani desert

  1. hilly7 says:

    That is sad. Those that know me see the last 2 of our once 54 plus birds we bred with. Peacocks usually don’t contract Newcastle disease unless they come in contact with an infected bird or one that has been vaccinated or from coming in contact with the virus, just like Marek’s. It can be carried in on shoes or clothing. Usually it’s seen in birds that are in confined areas and they must either drink contaminated water or come droppings in a confined space. There were 2 or 3 states out west who almost all but lost Turkey populations due to people raising then turning loose birds who were infected or carried an immunity to disease unknowingly. Why most states it is illegal to own wild turkeys, same with quail. With a weakened immunity system birds would be even more susceptible. Most don’t know that at one time New Castle was tested and worked with as a biological weapon. These birds start out weak in immunity but by about 6 months old, as long as not confined with chickens and waterfowl, strengthen. We had a neighbor who didn’t tend his flock of chickens very well lose about 50-75 chickens within a week. We’re right beside him and we didn’t lose either of my last 2, any chickens, ducks, or guineas. I don’t vaccinate, then again, they eat well too. Peacocks don’t take heat well though. Maybe a factor?

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