Conservation

Botulism Warning Lifted for Lake Buloke

DELWP has announced that Lake Buloke appears to be clear of botulism.

Warnings were in place earlier this year, alerting people that there may be avian botulism in the area. The warning has been lifted and the lake is now accessible by the public.

DELWP worked closely with DEDJTR, the EPA, GMA, and the Department of Health and Human Services to resolve the issue.

DEDJTR Manager Veterinary Science, Dr Cameron Bell, said "Avian botulism was suspected in affected birds at the lake, as clinical signs that are typical for the disease, namely leg and wing paralysis, were observed in birds."

Alternative disease conditions had been ruled out.

Outbreaks of botulism can occur when environmental conditions are favourable, such as when water temperatures are high, oxygen levels are low, and there are high levels of organic material in the water. Decaying animals and insect carcasses are also ideal breeding conditions for the botulism-producing bacteria.

The outbreak reinforces the importance of healthy wetlands, and for proactive management with environmental watering, and maintaining a good ecological balance in wetland habitats. Since the botulism-producing bacteria are resistant to drying cycles, the other aspects of wetland habitat management are key.

Healthy wetlands remain a priority for FGA, starting in 1958, as healthy wetlands assist with carbon capture, improve water quality, and act as buffers during flooding events. Healthy wetlands provide flourishing biodiversity, providing homes to hundreds of different wetland flora and fauna species, and providing natural habitat where people can connect with nature through hunting, camping, fishing, or simply relaxing outdoors.

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