Death Of Dozens Of Swallows In SoCal Prompts Investigation

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The recent deaths of dozens of cliff swallows at El Capitan Reservoir, Lower Otay Lake and Lake Arrowhead is prompting concern that there may be a toxin polluting the waters.

Researchers have not found a threat to humans but a final determination may not be available until next week.

Nearly 100 cliff swallows were found dead recently near the public dock at Lower Otay Lake and another five birds were found dead at El Capitan Reservoir.

Nikos Gurfield, the San Diego County veterinarian investigating some of the deaths, is looking for signs West Nile virus and avian influenza, as well as other possibilities. He said the deaths may be related to a lack of food for the birds, and is asking for a review from pesticide experts.

Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-05-31-08 1700EDT

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