Wyoming monitoring national outbreak of virus impacting wild birds

Cheyenne – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is monitoring a national outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has caused die-offs of wild and domestic birds as close as South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. The disease has been detected in Wyoming, and Game and Fish is asking the public to report groups of dead birds to the department.

“Anyone who finds clusters of three or more dead wild birds — especially waterfowl and other water-birds — please contact the Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory,” said Jessica Jennings-Gaines, Game and Fish wildlife disease specialist. “We’re also asking for reports of any number of raptors or bird-scavenger species — like crows and vultures — exhibiting signs of neurological impairment or being found dead with no apparent cause.”

Wild birds can carry the virus — also known as HPAI — and not appear sick. HPAI is considered a zoonotic disease, which can infect humans and domestic birds, like chickens and turkeys. Game and Fish reminds the public to not touch or handle the dead birds.

To report clusters of dead birds call the Game and Fish wildlife health laboratory at 307-745-5865.