11 Jan 2006

Unusually high number of dead seabirds reported in French Polynesia

6:46 pm on 11 January 2006

Residents of Rangiroa atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago of French Polynesia are reporting an unusually high number of dead seabirds.

The Tahitipresse news agency reports the territory's vice-presidency has issued a communique which cites separate unconfirmed sources as saying the phenomenon began between October and December.

As a precautionary measure, officials are asking people not to handle the bodies of the dead terns, gannets and noddies.

Officials are working with the local bird protection society to determine the cause of the phenomenon.