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Locations of Pacific Flyway Ducks in and near Commercial Livestock Facilities of the Western USA (2015-2021)

January 24, 2022

Zoonotic diseases are of considerable concern to the human population and viruses such as avian influenza (AIV) threaten food security, wildlife conservation and human health. Wild waterfowl and the natural wetlands they use, are known AIV reservoirs, with birds capable of virus transmission to domestic poultry populations. While infection risk models have linked migration routes and AIV outbreaks, there is a limited understanding of wild waterfowl presence on commercial livestock facilities, and movement patterns linked to natural wetlands. In this dataset, records (rows) represent all analyzed locations of individual waterfowl relative to locations of commercial livestock facilities and habitats. Each row has data columns detailing: species, sex, individual ID, date, day or night, within 10 kilometers of a commercial livestock facility (y or n), inside facilities (y or n), inside National Wildlife Refuge (NWR; y or n) and inside Conservation Easement (y or n). Data were collected between 2015 and 2021 as part of a larger study.

We documented 11 wild waterfowl (three Anatidae species) in or near 8 commercial livestock facilities in Washington and California with GPS telemetry data. Wild ducks used dairy and beef cattle feed lots and facility retention ponds during both day and night suggesting use for roosting and foraging. Two individuals (single locations) were observed inside poultry facility boundaries while using nearby wetlands. Ducks demonstrated high site fidelity, returning to the same areas of habitats (at livestock facilities and nearby wetlands), across months or years, showed strong connectivity with surrounding wetlands, and arrived from wetlands up to 1,251 kilometers away in the week prior. Telemetry data provides substantial advantages over observational data, allowing assessment of individual movement behavior and wetland connectivity that has significant implications for outbreak management. Telemetry improves our understanding of risk factors for waterfowl-livestock virus transmission and helps identify factors associated with coincident space use at the wild waterfowl-domestic livestock interface. Our research suggests that even relatively small or isolated natural and artificial water or food sources in or near facilities, increases the likelihood of attracting waterfowl, which has important consequences for managers attempting to minimize or prevent AIV outbreaks. Use and interpretation of telemetry data, especially when in near-real time, could provide key information for reducing virus transmission risk between waterfowl and livestock, improving protective barriers between wild and domestic species, and abating outbreaks.

These data support the following publication:
McDuie, F., Matchett, E.L., Prosser, D.J., Takekawa, J.Y., Pitesky, M.E., Lorenz, A.A., McCuen, M.M., Ackerman, J.T., De La Cruz, S.E., and Casazza, M.L., 2022. Pathways for avian influenza virus spread: GPS reveals wild waterfowl in commercial livestock facilities and connectivity with the natural wetland landscape. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases..

Publication Year 2022
Title Locations of Pacific Flyway Ducks in and near Commercial Livestock Facilities of the Western USA (2015-2021)
DOI 10.5066/P9YANKHK
Authors Fiona P Mcduie, Cory T Overton, Elliott L Matchett, Austen A Lorenz, Michael L Casazza
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center - Headquarters