Audubon program on Avian Botulism

Type E botulism has been confirmed as the cause of death by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) in bird carcasses collected from numerous locations along the Lake Michigan shoreline.


The Sept. 10 Petoskey Regional Audubon Society (PRAS) Meeting features Caroline Keson, Water Resource Specialist at Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.  She will discuss Avian Botulism and how it affects loons, scoters, grebes and gulls in the Great Lakes Waters.

Each fall, reports of dead birds in Charlevoix and Emmet Counties are phoned in to the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council office, where staff respond and work with Michigan Sea Grant and the MDNR to track bird and fish fatalities in affected areas.

The program takes place in the conference room at Northern Lights Recreation, 8865 Harbor Petoskey Rd. (M-119), Harbor Springs.  The program begins at 7pm. The program is free and open to the public.

Caroline joined Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council in 2018 as the Water Resource Specialist. Originally from Manistee, MI, she began her love of water playing in streams, ponds, and swamps at her family’s centennial farm.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies and Agriscience at Michigan State University in 2011.

After working on surface water quality for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians for seven years, Caroline is ready to apply her knowledge to restoration and education at the Watershed Council. Her projects include Watershed Action Volunteer Experience (WAVE), Avian Botulism Monitoring, Phragmites Surveys, and various habitat and water quality assessments.

PRAS is a chapter of Michigan Audubon and has members from Charlevoix and Emmet Counties. PRAS is dedicated to creating a greater awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the inter-relatedness of all Michigan’s wild places and wildlife and the need for stewardship, with emphasis on our local region.


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