Public asked to assist bird monitoring efforts
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is requesting the public’s assistance this spring in reporting ill or dead wetland birds (ducks, geese or shorebirds) or raptors (hawks, owls or eagles).
The department, in coordination with other state and federal agencies, is conducting surveillance for the early detection of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus (also known as “bird flu”) in the United States. Although this strain of avian influenza has not yet been detected in the Western Hemisphere, the department is monitoring waterfowl populations to ensure it is prepared to respond if avian influenza, or any other significant avian disease, is detected in Arizona.
The spring surveys consist of monitoring various lakes throughout the state, to inspect them for sick and dead birds. During the fall season, testing focuses on hunter-harvested birds.
If you see ill or dead wetland birds or raptors while you are visiting any lake in Arizona this spring, please assist the monitoring program and report your observations by calling the toll-free bird monitoring hotline number at 1-877-97-AVIAN (1-877-972-8426) or by filling out a form online. For more information regarding avian influenza, visit www.azgfd.gov/ai.