Avian cholera kills thousands of water birds at Salton Sea

An outbreak of avian cholera has killed thousands of water birds at California’s Salton Sea. Wildlife officials say such outbreaks are an annual occurrence during migration. ©Alan Schmierer

California wildlife officials say a January outbreak of avian cholera has killed thousands of ducks, gulls and other water birds at the Salton Sea. Such outbreaks occur annually due to birds flocking closely together during migration. Officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge said they collected and incinerated more than 1,200 carcasses. The birds tested positive for avian cholera, an infectious disease that occurs in California each winter. Officials say the water birds are most susceptible to the disease during stressful periods.

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