NSW bird deaths: Dozens of native birds have been found poisoned and beaten near Tweed Heads High School

The shocking discoveries of dozens of dead or injured native birds – including an endangered species – around a high school in north NSW have sparked an investigation as they are suspected to have been poisoned and beaten on purpose.

Up to 50 birds have been found dead or dying near Kingscliff High School in the state’s Northern Rivers region since late December. It is believed that among the dead birds found is an endangered curlew chick.

Concerned locals first raised the alarm on a Facebook group late last month, reporting that seven magpies had been injured or killed in just three days.

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“Two were taken to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital with spinal injuries and euthanized,” a local wrote. “Two died in foster care.”

A curlew in the bush, unrelated to the Kingscliff incident, at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. Credit: Currumbin Wildlife Hospital

The Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers Group confirmed that a total of 29 birds were found dead or taken into care between late December and late January. An unconfirmed total of 30 to 50 dead birds was reported to the group.

“None of those collected alive survived,” said Corrina Lever of Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers. “Most of the birds had sustained irreparable injuries and those that were alive were euthanized.

“At this point pathological and toxicological tests are still ongoing.”

investigation is ongoing

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has addressed the bird deaths in a notice to local residents.

“Almost all of the birds have shown symptoms of poisoning either accidentally or intentionally,” the letter reads. “Several carcasses were sent for toxicology testing to identify the poison. NPWS is waiting for the results.

“Many of the birds also had broken spines or other broken bones, indicating they were struck by a stick or club.”

Dozens of dead or injured native birds have been found near Kingscliff High School Credit: NSW Department of Education

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said it was aware of the “troubling” matter, adding: “The school continues to work closely with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.”

Outraged locals took to social media. One said, “If one or more people injure these defenseless native birds… may they burn in hell.”

An Australian Magpie perching in the wild. Credit: Doug Farr / 500px/Getty Images

“We need answers now,” said another.

All native birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. It is a criminal offense to injure, kill or remove native animals without a license.

Tweed Shire Council was contacted for comment but did not respond.

Five baby emus killed in alleged animal cruelty.

Five baby emus killed in alleged animal cruelty.

https://7news.com.au/news/nsw/dozens-of-native-birds-found-poisoned-and-beaten-around-tweed-heads-high-school-c-9639231 NSW bird deaths: Dozens of native birds have been found poisoned and beaten near Tweed Heads High School

James Brien

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