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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Searching for the cause of sea ducks’ dire health

Specialists round up common eiders

Thousands of their carcasses have been found floating in the cold water off Cape Cod or rotting on beaches. Many more of the birds have been found emaciated, exhausted, and suffering, often near death.

In recent years, a mysterious virus has taken a mounting toll on the region’s common eiders, a normally bulky sea duck considered a barometer for the health of Cape Cod Bay.

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