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Raptor mortality due to West Nile virus in the United States, 2002

Journal of Wildlife Diseases

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Abstract

West Nile virus (WNV) has affected many thousands of birds since it was first detected in North America in 1999, but the overall impact on wild bird populations is unknown. In mid-August 2002, wildlife rehabilitators and local wildlife officials from multiple states began reporting increasing numbers of sick and dying raptors, mostly red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus. Commonly reported clinical signs were nonspecific and included emaciation, lethargy, weakness, inability to perch, fly or stand, and nonresponse to danger. Raptor carcasses from 12 states were received, and diagnostic evaluation of 56 raptors implicated WNV infection in 40 (71%) of these cases. Histologically, nonsuppurative encephalitis and myocarditis were the salient lesions (79% and 61%, respectively). Other causes of death included lead poisoning, trauma, aspergillosis, and Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp. infections. The reason(s) for the reported increase in raptor mortality due to WNV in 2002 compared with the previous WNV seasons is unclear, and a better understanding of the epizootiology and pathogenesis of the virus in raptor populations is needed. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2007.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Raptor mortality due to West Nile virus in the United States, 2002
Series title:
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Volume
43
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
First page:
206
Last page:
213
Number of Pages:
8