Hundreds of dead penguins continue to be washed up on New Zealand beaches

(ORDO NEWS) — Local residents continue to find little blue penguins rotting on the shore and the cause of their mass death has not been established.

At least 452 of the world’s smallest penguins have been found dead on the beaches of New Zealand’s North Island in the past six weeks – and more than half of them in the past 10 days.

Korora, also known as little blue penguins, live in New Zealand but are “endangered” and “decreasing” according to the country’s Department of Conservation (DoC).

The biggest threat to them comes from dogs, wild predators and road cars, which are known to hit the birds when they come ashore in May-June, swimming up to 1.5 kilometers from the sea to build nests.

However, these instances were different. Hundreds of cockatiels discovered over the past month and a half showed little to no signs of attack, and in many cases were in the same stages of decomposition, as if they had suffered from some kind of one-time event.

Last week, locals at Ninety Mile Beach collected a total of 183 individuals, and more than 100 stranded and decomposing birds were found days later in nearby Cable Bay.

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