Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mystery illness claims more bald eagles in Utah

Something is killing bald eagles in Utah, and wildlife officials are scrambling to diagnose the mysterious illness before it spreads. At least 16 bald eagles have died since the beginning of the month, with another rescued bird likely facing the same puzzling fate, state wildlife officials said Tuesday. About half of the bald eagles identified since Dec. 1 were discovered dead, while the other half died or were euthanized at rehabilitation centers. A lab in Madison, Wis., is conducting blood work and toxicology screenings, the results of which may not be available for a couple of weeks, said DaLyn Erickson-Marthaler, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. One possibility being considered is poisoning, either intentional or accidental, although the affected birds have been found in different counties throughout Utah — not just one area. “This is hard to treat because we don’t know exactly what it is,” said Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. She added that officials haven’t noticed similar symptoms in other animals. Before they die, the bald eagles are found to have weakness in their legs, which turns into paralysis of one leg and then the other, said Erickson-Marthaler. The birds also experience head tremors and then seizures. They typically die three or four days later...more

Come on Utah.  We all know what's killing these birds...its global warming. 

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