One mystery solved, another washes ashore
WILDLIFE officers say flocks of mutton birds washed up on Bribie Island shores in recent weeks are most likely the result of severe weather, but can't explain multiple turtle and fish deaths.
The Bribie Weekly has been inundated with firsthand accounts of dead animals found along the west coast of the island after it published an article in last week's paper.
In the article, Don Early spoke about 14 dead birds and hundreds of mullet found in Airforce Park during the past two weeks.
A few days later, Department of Environmental and Heritage Protection officers have taken samples after finding more than 10 dead birds.
However, a EHP spokeswoman said natural causes were likely to be responsible.
"Large numbers of mutton birds visit coastal areas of Queensland as part of their normal patterns of migration,” she said.
"Inevitably, not all of these birds survive and previous incidents of numerous mutton bird deaths have coincided with severe weather along their migratory route.
"It is likely that the recent media reports of dead birds are of mutton birds which have arrived on our shores too exhausted to recover.”
It doesn't explain multiple sightings of dead turtles and fish.
The most recent was found by Bellara resident of 36 years, Steven Perrett, at the end of Boronia Dr on Sunday.
"In 36 years, I've never seen anything like that ... if these things are dying then it'd be nice to find out why,” he said.
"I'm no ecologist, but there's no marks on him, nothing. I don't know if they're swallowing plastic bags or what.”
Bribie residents Debjan Elliot-French, Nikita Chee and Kerri Hobbs found they had similar accounts.
A Moreton Bay Regional Council spokesman said it was assisting the EHP's investigation.
"Council officers on Friday, located and removed 17 deceased birds following reports of dead wildlife in Bongaree,” he said.
"Council has collected samples for the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to assist in their investigation.”