Pathogenic avian disease was confirmed in three Georgia bald eagles

Three Georgian bald eagles have been diagnosed with the disease

A healthy bald eagle flying in the sky. Yes: Georgia DNR

A major pathogenic avian disease was confirmed in three bald eagles in Georgia on Friday. This is the first time the disease has been diagnosed in any part of the state.

The University of Georgia’s Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Diseases Study first identified the disease in dead eagles found in Chatham, Glynn and Liberty counties in March. Based on UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the company provides state -of -the -art wildlife specialists and fish and wildlife departments, including the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed more than 660 cases in wild birds this year, with 11 cases in Georgia. Across the country, millions of birds died of disease from disease or were cut after it was known to keep the disease from destroying the commercial family. The disease is considered to be the lowest incidence in humans, and currently no human cases have been reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Following the initial screening, the samples were sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa for testing, which was available this week.

“We don’t know what the future holds, but the best case scenario is: The disease has established itself in our wild bird population,” said David Stallknecht, director of the Southeastern Wildlife Cooperative. Disease Study. “If kept in the wild, it will continue to threaten the health of wild birds and the health of commercial chickens.

Often referred to as HPAI, or HPAI, the disease has been diagnosed in more than 50 countries. It was first seen in the commercial fowl family, domestic chickens and wild water fowls that could kill other animals.

This year, the disease hit hard on birds. But only in a few places.

“The Raptors disease with HPAI is not independent,” Stallknecht said. “But the scale of it is very different. We’ve also seen it in a lot of raptors in other states, and there’s a disease going on in Florida right now that affects hundreds of black geese. , sacks, gulls and pelicans.

For example, there is no known illness. This may be the result of a built -in protection against HPAI from detecting small pathogenic pathogenic pathogens (i.e., “low pathogens”) commonly found in water chickens.

Eagles and other raptors are not often seen feeding on these low pathogenic pathogens, which can leave them exposed to HPAI.

HPAI is also responsible for the significant decline in nesting for beach eagles in Georgia this season.

“On the beach, the numbers are more sensible,” said Bob Sargent, one of the program managers for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Sargent completed a study of bald eagle nests in Georgia. “What we’ve found is that the rate of nest success for those beach birds is more than 30% lower than normal. Fall.”

On average, about 70% to 80% of Georgia’s bald eagle nests are active, meaning that one eagle flies. (The eagle often lays two eggs.) On one of Sargent’s trails in northeastern Georgia last week, he found that the number was close to 90% for the birds that lay on it. area of ​​Georgia. Overall, this year’s number of nests for more than 150 nests not available in the six coastal counties is around 70% – a typical year.

In recent years, the U.S. bald eagle has recovered. In the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. had fewer than 500 bald eagle nests in the Lower 48. It flew more than 315,000 birds, and there are more than 200 nests in Georgia.

“This is a cause for concern, but it’s not a cause for concern,” Sargent said. “The eagle population has come a long way since the 1970s. The eagle population is not a problem.”

If you see a sick or dead eagle that goes undetected, call the Department of Natural Resources.

“We hope this goes well without causing major disasters in Georgia,” said Tina Johannsen, chief executive assistant for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “This disease quickly kills many birds if they get it. We appreciate the large number of our eyes and ears on the outside, especially in remote areas.”

“If you see anything else, even if it’s more than one dead bird in an area, don’t worry. Call us, and we can give you advice for the best. really to do. ”


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Presented by the University of Georgia

Directions: Pathogenic avian disease confirmed in three Georgian bald eagles (2022, April 15) retrieved on 16 April 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-highly-pathogenic-avian -influenza-georgia.html

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