Help Curb Potential Transmission of Avian Influenza
MAY 7, 2022 —Due to the ongoing spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds and domestic poultry in the United States, Lindsay Wildlife Experience is asking the public to take precautionary steps to help curb potential transmission among local wildlife and domestic flocks.
The Eurasian H5 HPAI strain was confirmed in a wild bird in South Carolina this January. The disease has spread rapidly across the country during migratory periods and is now found as far west as Oregon and Washington and as far north as British Columbia. The USGS website is tracking its progress daily. See the latest information here.
Since its detection, the H5 HPAI strain has resulted in more than 28 million bird deaths in the United States.
Avian influenza viruses naturally circulate in waterbirds including waterfowl and shorebirds, with or without clinical signs. Avian predators or scavengers, including eagles, other raptors, crows, ravens, gulls, or vultures, may be exposed when feeding on infected waterbirds, especially during mortality events such as avian cholera and avian botulism. Spread through the air or by direct contact with infected surfaces, the H5 HPAI strain is highly contagious in poultry and causes significant mortality. Birds raised in captivity, such as other gallinaceous birds (turkeys, pheasants, grouse, quail) and waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans), may also be at high risk of acquiring and transmitting the virus.
Curbing the spread
Lindsay Wildlife Experience is closely monitoring the situation. In order to protect other bird species in our wildlife rehabilitation hospital, we ask that you take all injured, abandoned, or orphaned waterfowl or shorebirds directly to International Bird Rescue in Fairfield as they are well equipped to provide the best care for these species. Please call our hospital hotline at (925) 659-8156 or email [email protected] if you have questions.
- If you have backyard flocks or pet birds, please consult with your veterinarian on how to best protect your flock and help reduce the spread.
- If you have backyard feeders, please watch for avian influenza spread into our state. If avian influenza is detected in California, we ask that you remove bird feeders and bird baths until the situation is resolved. Please refer to this flowchart to determine if you can continue using your feeders.
Thank you for helping wildlife!