DEC: Mold kills dozens of geese in Malone area

Canada geese congregate in June in the Tupper Lake Municipal Park beside Raquette Pond.
(Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

Canada geese congregate in June in the Tupper Lake Municipal Park beside Raquette Pond. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

MALONE — The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced this week that three dozen geese recently found dead were killed by a fungal infection likely introduced by moldy bread or grain.

The DEC said the Canada geese died from aspergillosis in Rotary Pond in the Malone Recreation Park.

“DEC pathologists determined the geese were infected with Aspergillosis, a fungus that grows in the birds’ lungs and air sacs causing respiratory distress and, eventually, suffocation,” the DEC wrote in a press release. “Aspergillosis is transmitted to waterfowl by the ingestion of moldy grain, such as bread or livestock feed, or agricultural waste. It has been known to cause large-scale mortality events in waterfowl.

“Aspergillosis is not contagious and does not present a health risk to humans.”

The DEC asks people not to feed ducks, geese and other waterfowl.

“Feeding waterfowl causes poor nutrition, overcrowding, unnatural behavior, delayed migration, and facilitates the spread of diseases that may result in death,” the release said. The DEC directed farmers to “keep grain piles covered and to dispose of moldy grain, silage, straw or hay by burial and not by spreading over land. Ducks and geese must be discouraged from using areas where moldy agricultural products have accumulated.”

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