Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Deaths

Discussion in 'Louisiana Flyway Forum' started by DComeaux, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. DComeaux

    DComeaux Elite Refuge Member

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    For Immediate Release
    March 4, 2021



    The black-bellied whistling duck avian cholera mortality event that started in the New Orleans area in early December 2020 continues to kill birds, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced Thursday.

    The mortality event has killed more than 1,000 black-bellied whistling ducks in New Orleans and surrounding areas, including the Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Lafreniere Park, and private ponds. Park and Zoo personnel are assisting with carcass removal in an effort to reduce the spread of the disease.

    This naturally occurring circumstance is caused by the bacteria Pasteurella multocida and can result in waterfowl death. Comingling of waterfowl spreads the infection within the population.

    “Avian cholera outbreaks are not an uncommon occurrence in waterfowl and occur throughout the country nearly every year,” said Dr. Jim LaCour, LDWF’s State Wildlife Veterinarian. “Mortality events in the wild can be limited to a few birds or can cause mortality in many thousands of birds and can be short-lived or endure for months. Luckily, the setting for this outbreak allows some mitigation of natural spread which should help to minimize the mortality effects.”

    Many species of birds and mammals, including pets, are susceptible to infection from the bacteria that causes avian cholera, but the waterfowl strain does not commonly infect those other species. Pets should not be allowed to come in contact with dead or dying waterfowl.

    According to the Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases by the United States Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center avian cholera is not considered a high-risk disease for humans. However, there have been some rare cases documented of avian cholera in humans. People are warned not to handle dead wildlife.

    Common signs of avian cholera are erratic flight, loss of head control (floppy necks), mucous discharge from the nasal openings, and death.

    For more information or to report waterfowl mortalities, please contact Dr. Jim LaCour at [email protected].
     
  2. oleww

    oleww Elite Refuge Member

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    Come to think of it, I haven’t seen near as many Whistlers this year. Figured it was still to cold for them.
     
  3. Out of focus

    Out of focus Elite Refuge Member

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    It appears I am surrounded by experts.
    They don’t show up here (False river area) until April. We will see.
     
  4. Gmack

    Gmack Senior Refuge Member

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    I saw a bunch , like a hundred, on the roof of a house the other day. In town. Weird site just packed up on the roof.
     
  5. jrchip1

    jrchip1 Elite Refuge Member

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    A lot of dead/injured pelicans out there too. Sorry...didn't mean to invade Black Belly talk. They're
    my second favorite duck.
     
  6. Engstfeld

    Engstfeld Elite Refuge Member

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    Second to ...
     

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  7. jrchip1

    jrchip1 Elite Refuge Member

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    At least I didn't scratch this year !! :l:l
     
  8. Engstfeld

    Engstfeld Elite Refuge Member

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    But that’s not saying much, though.
     
  9. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

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    We did. Fifth time in the fourteen seasons I've been in that blind. Third and fourth times were the season before.
     
  10. jrchip1

    jrchip1 Elite Refuge Member

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    I saw a dozen Black Bellies yesterday, for the first time in a few weeks. A friend gave me some Boxes, I need to put out ASAP, cause they nest early, then all summer long.....usually.
     

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