When hundreds of dead short-tailed shearwaters – or muttonbirds – washed up on beaches, people were quick to say these mass mortality events are not unusual and could have been caused by a storm event.
But seabird ecologist Dr Jennifer Lavers from the University of WA strongly disagrees with this theory.
She told ABC Illawarra’s Melinda James it’s more likely the birds’ food source has been depleted by a marine heatwave, possibly caused by a massive eddy off the coast of Sydney which has warmed sea temperatures and concerned scientists.
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