Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Circovirus Kills Goose Island Sea Gulls

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has determined what killed two thousand sea gulls on Goose Island in Big Pelican Lake last summer. Non Game Specialist Pam Perry tells KLKS News, biologists have determined it was circovirus, with secondary infections.

Perry says it is a virus akin to the flu for birds. Although, she says the virus has also been found in pigs. She says she does not know how the gulls contracted the virus, or if it is cyclical. So far, it has not been found in other area lakes.

Perry says the virus is not known to threaten humans. She says it is passed from one bird to the other, so it does not appear to be anything unique to Goose Island in Breezy Point.

In addition to the gulls, a few great blue herons and cormorants were lost to the virus.

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