More than 10 000 migrating birds have died from an avian cholera outbreak – the worst in a decade – blamed on reduced water flows through vast marshlands of Southern Oregon and Northern California known as the Western Everglades, federal wildlife officials said this week.
Avian cholera surfaces in the region nearly every year in wetlands of the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.
“Now the coots are getting the worst of it,” said Mauser, head biologist on the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first large marshland preserved for waterfowl habitat. “Prior to that it was the snow geese and the white-fronted geese.”
Standing in line for scarce water behind both endangered fish and agriculture, Lower Klamath Lake has watched one marsh after another dry up in recent years. Now migratory geese, ducks and other waterfowl that come here by the millions, following the Pacific Flyway, are so closely packed together that an outbreak of avian cholera has killed more than 10,000 birds, mostly pintail ducks, Ross’ geese, snow geese and now coots.
April 18 2012
Please use less water; re-use water (grey water for irrigation) and harvest your own rainwater.