The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking everyone, especially landowners, to report dead sage grouse to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department so the birds can be tested for West Nile virus. Reports help in the management of the state’s sage grouse populations. Research has shown sage grouse have low resistance to West Nile virus, which is usually fatal to the birds. Evidence of the disease has been reported in past years in northeast Wyoming and in surrounding states, including a sage grouse in North Dakota. Leslie Schreiber, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s sage grouse/sagebrush biologist, said there is no sign yet of an outbreak of the virus in the Wyoming population. However, this year’s precipitation and warm weather has created conditions favorable for mosquitoes, which can carry the virus. Testing dead birds helps Game and Fish monitor the scope and impact of the disease across the state.
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