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PELICANS STARVING ON AUSSIE OASIS

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Thousands of pelicans have died of starvation as an oasis in Australia's harsh outback country begins to dry up, killing fish the birds feed on.

It is unclear how many birds have died, officials say, but the carcasses of thousands of adult birds and their chicks can be seen covering two islands in Lake Eyre in the northern part of South Australia state.Scientist say adult pelicans have been spotted flying up to 220 miles a day in search of food.

An estimated 200,000 pelicans made their homes at Lake Eyre, a more than 100-mile-long body of water, after the oasis' waters swelled following heavy rains in October.

But the ensuing drought increased the salinity of the lake, killing the fish the pelicans eat and causing starvation among the birds.