AR-News: (U.S. - Ca.) avian cholera killing wild ducks
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Tue Feb 3 22:42:22 EST 2004
Thousands of ducks die at Clear Lake
The Press Democrat, Carol Benfell, January 30, 2004
complete article at:
Volunteers pulled thousands of dead ducks from Clear Lake this week, hoping
to prevent the spread of avian cholera to other waterfowl, including
vulnerable flocks of great blue herons and white pelicans.
As of Thursday, about 3,500 ruddy ducks had died, along with a small number
of mallards, egrets, grebes and scaups, in the first recorded outbreak of
the fast-moving disease in Lake County. Avian cholera is not believed to
attack human beings or other mammals.
The outbreak began Jan. 14, when a flock of about 15,000 ruddy ducks --
small, chunky diving ducks -- were blown in by a winter storm, joining a
flock of several thousand already at the lake, said Allan Buckmann, a
wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game.
On Jan. 18, a game warden saw a dozen dead ducks floating on the lake. The
following day, there were 130 more. At the epidemic's peak, ducks were dying
at the rate of 600 a day.
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