City of Kingston issues notice regarding dead geese along waterfront

Elevator Bay off of King Street West. Photo by Steve Lawrence.

The City of Kingston has issued a media release, noting it is closely monitoring reports of sick birds following a recent investigation of deceased and distressed Canada geese at Lake Ontario Park and Elevator Bay along Front Road.

According to the release, dated Friday, Feb 2, 2024, city staff observed signs of sickness and the presence of approximately 30 dead birds.

“Although the cause of death has not been confirmed, the City is asking community members to report any sightings of distressed or deceased birds to the Ontario Regional Centre of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative at 1-866-673-4781 or online at CWHC.WildlifeSubmissions.org. Birds in distress can also be reported to Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre at (613) 354-0264,” the city stated

The City said that staff have reported these local instances to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC). According to the release, CWHC will complete testing and share the results in approximately two weeks.

“Clean up at Lake Ontario Park and Elevator Bay is well underway, with staff following all recommended safety measures to dispose of the carcasses,” the city said, adding that it will continue to monitor and dispose of deceased birds found at waterfront parks.

“Please do not handle sick, injured, or dead wild birds. If handling wild birds or other wildlife is unavoidable, wear gloves or use a doubled plastic bag and avoid contact with blood, body fluids and feces. You should then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizer. Protect your pets by keeping your cats indoors and dogs on a leash when out for a walk.”

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (seen in gold) grown in MDCK cells (seen in green). Photo via the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) courtesy of Cynthia Goldsmith.

According to a memo to members of the Kingston Field Naturalists from their President Chris Hargraves, Avian Flu has been detected in the area. In the memo, Hargraves said he spoke with Kingston City Councillor Lisa Osanic, who relayed information from Sue Meech of Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre that “there was Avian Influenza and dead geese at Lake Ontario Park.” According to the memo, Hargraves spoke to Meech directly, and Meech confirmed that the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative had detected Avian Influenza in a dead bird from the Kingston area.

Kingstonist is speaking with KFL&A Public Health, Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre, and the Kingston Field Naturalists today about this matter. Continued coverage to come.

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