The discovery is considered to be the largest die-off in the entire state, and now there are concerns about the impact on the poultry industry.
Wildlife experts say this is extremely alarming. One local biologist says he has never seen anything like this in his four decades of working in Cook County.
Over the course of one week, experts with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County discovered more than 200 dead double-crested cormorants at Baker’s Lake in Barrington.
One wildlife biologist says the cause of this die-off is believed to be avian flu, and samples have been sent to the state and federal government to confirm that.
The expert that FOX 32 spoke with says this is extremely abnormal, and could lead to an array of issues.
“Right now we’ve only handled double-crested cormorants, but in the past with this outbreak, throughout North America we’ve seen water fowl, we’ve seen both ducks and geese, other wetland birds, and in the news there’s been massive die-offs at poultry farms,” said Chris Anchor, Wildlife Biologist for Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
“The response from the federal government, if you have a positive outbreak in a poultry farm is to come in and de-populate the farm, so by the very nature of the response, you decrease the amount of supply and the cost goes up,” he added.
The wildlife biologist says they are monitoring whether this is spilling into other species of birds and asks that if you spot a dead or dying bird, that you do not touch it but report it to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.