Avian Influenza Surveillance in Waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway

Avian Influenza Surveillance in Waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway

In December of 2014, a novel strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) caused an outbreak in poultry on the West coast of the United States. 

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Survival of American Woodcock During Fall Migration

Survival of American Woodcock During Fall Migration

Providing data in management models for declining migratory bird populations.

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Science Center Objects

Bird migration remains a topic of active research through the use of new technology to provide insights relevant for the conservation of migratory birds. Satellite telemetry is used to study the movements of sea ducks and other waterbirds along the Atlantic Coast, useful data to better understand the potential impacts of offshore energy development. Radar technology is used to study the nocturnal migration of songbirds along the Appalachian Mountains and the stopover ecology of migratory birds along the Delmarva Peninsula, data that are also relevant for potential energy development projects. Additionally, the Bird Banding Laboratory hosts a dataset of more than 5 million bird encounter records providing insights into the movements of migratory birds across this hemisphere.

male mallard in flight

Photo of a male mallard duck in flight.  (Public domain.)

 

 

Avian Influenza Surveillance in Waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway

In December of 2014, a novel strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) caused an outbreak in poultry on the West coast of the United States. From there, the virus progressed steadily eastward, causing $3.3 billion in economic losses in addition to 50 million chickens or turkeys dying or being depopulated. While the primary mode of spread appears to be via the poultry system, wild birds have been detected with H5N8 asymptomatic infection, indicating the potential for virus spread via wild populations. The species involved and the extent of contribution of virus spread, however, are not known. As of June 2015, the new strains of HPAI have been detected in 3 of the 4 migratory flyways, with no positives yet in the Atlantic flyway; however little sampling has been conducted since the onset of the current HPAI situation.

 

 

Peenting male woodcock

Peenting male woodcock (Public domain.)

 

 

 

Survival of American Woodcock During Fall Migration

Research goals of this project are to: determine survival rates of American woodcock (Scolopax minor) during fall migration; determine survival in relation to weather along the migration route; determine age and sex-specific timing of migration and passage of woodcock through the Mid-Atlantic States. Analyses are ongoing to determine timing of passage of birds across Cape May, NJ. The ultimate goal is to provide information to be included in specific management models for declining migratory bird populations.