After collecting the birds’ carcasses over the weekend, the experts analyzed them and according to a report released on Tuesday by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the birds died of avian cholera.
Steve Schmidt, one of the regional supervisors who were involved in the case, said that the wild migratory geese were returning from the southwestern parts of the United States and Mexico. The birds were migrating back to the northern coasts of Alaska, where they have their usual breeding grounds.
Schmidt said that the birds had died near Roberts, Terreton and Dubois, all towns located in the eastern parts of Idaho.
The researchers said it’s not clear where the migratory birds picked the deadly virus from, but health officials are working on keeping other animals from scavenging the birds’ cadavers and spread the disease.
Schmidt said that the most important thing right now is to collect all the dead birds off the ground before other birds find them and start feeding on them, thus spreading the avian cholera.
Biologists said they spotted dozens of eagles near some of the dead birds, but due to a delayed period of incubation, the experts are not really sure where the eagles might have flown to. Also, the scientists do not know yet if the avian cholera that killed the wild geese in Idaho might have an effect on the eagles.
Although the results of the lab analysis are not out yet, the officials said it looks like avian cholera might be responsible for the death of almost 2,000 wild geese in Idaho.
US health officials reported that humans are not at risk of being affected by this avian disease.
Approximately 10,000 snow geese fly through Idaho every year in March and rest at the wildlife set up areas.
The migratory birds usually spend around 2 to 3 weeks there and feed on the grains from the nearby fields.
Image Source: idahostatesman
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