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Sage Grouse Fall Victim to West Nile Virus

July 23, 2013 Greater Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, State of Wyoming No Comments
Sage-grouse

All Wyomingites, especially landowners, are again being asked to assist in the management of the state’s sage grouse populations this summer by immediately reporting dead sage grouse to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department so they can be tested for West Nile Virus. Past research has shown sage grouse have low resistance to the disease which is usually fatal to the birds. As of last week the only evidence of West Nile Virus in the state was from samples of mosquitoes collected in Goshen and Fremont Counties according to the Wyoming Department of Health. For those willing to collect carcasses they might find, the chance of getting the virus from handling a dead bird is remote, but picking up the birds with an inverted plastic sack while wearing gloves is recommended.  The bagged carcass should then be placed into another plastic bag, preferably a trash bag, and tied. If it can’t be delivered promptly to Game and Fish, the bird should be frozen.

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