Botulism kills ducks along Grand Traverse Bay

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — State biologists say about two dozen wild ducks have died of type C botulism along Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday its laboratory in Lansing detected the disease in the mallard carcasses.

Pathologist Tim Cooley says all were found in the same area of the bay's east arm.

Birds catch botulism by ingesting a naturally occurring toxin produced by bacteria in sediments beneath water bodies. Rising Great Lakes levels have created shallow-water areas on previously exposed mudflats, creating conditions for the bacteria to grow.

Dabbling ducks and other shore birds that feed in the sediments are vulnerable.

Cooley says the botulism poses no immediate risk to people, but dogs and other pets could be infected by eating the dead birds.



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