Request for keen bird watchers.
If you are a keen observer of birds, we are seeking your help in monitoring sparrow populations in Tasmania - and especially in Southern Tasmania.
If you are one of the many Tasmanians who observe birds in your backyard or wherever, and if you have noticed either that their numbers have declined, compared to last year, or that their numbers are well up on last year, we would appreciate a call or email from you.
DPIPWE's Animal Health and Welfare Branch and the Department of Health and Human Services are doing an epidemiological study to assess if/where there may be some ongoing risk of Salmonella typhimurium 160 (ST160 for short).
ST 160 caused a significant number of sparrow deaths in and around Hobart last year. There were also a small number of human cases of ST 160 at the same time but no proven link with the disease in sparrows. The humans suffered mild diarrhoea, headaches and vomiting.
Monitoring ST 160 is continuing, both from an animal and a human health perspective.
Essentially, we would like to know where sparrow numbers fell last year and have not recovered this year. And where sparrows are currently in good numbers - particularly in Southern Tasmania where ST 160 has been active. We are also always interested in any multiple mortality events in wild or native birds.
If you are able to help, please call Dr Mary Lou Conway or Bruce Jackson on 1300 368 550 or email mailto:Marylou.Conway@dpipwe.tas.gov.au_ or mailto:Bruce.Jackson@dpipwe.tas.gov.au_