Lead poisoning blamed for birds’ deaths

March 12, 2007

A port in Western Australia’s south has suspended its handling of lead carbonate following revelations lead poisoning could have killed thousands of birds in the area, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Up to 4,000 nectar-eating birds died in and around Esperance between December 7 and January 2 and more than 100 other bird deaths were reported in the town last week.

Last Friday, WA’s Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) said it had determined the small number of birds tested died of lead poisoning.

DEC said the test results did not provide direct evidence of the source of the lead, however lead carbonate is transported into Esperance for shipping through the Esperance port.

The Esperance Port Authority Board on Monday suspended the movement of lead into and out of the port until the source of the poisoning has been identified.

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Red winged parrot

   The red winged parrot is one of many
        types of nectar-eating birds

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