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Map Layer Info

Wildlife Mortality Information - Avian Cholera

What this map layer shows:

The number of bird deaths due to cholera, when each outbreak occurred, and the top five species affected, by county.

opens the U.S. Geological Survey home page
Background Information
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Avian cholera, also known as fowl cholera, is one of the most common diseases among wild North American waterfowl. It is the result of infection with the bacterium Pasteurella multocida. This bacterium kills swiftly, sometimes in as few as 6 to 12 hours after infection. Live bacteria released into the environment by dead and dying birds can subsequently infect healthy birds. As a result, avian cholera can spread quickly through a wetland and kill hundreds to thousands of birds in a single outbreak. Avian cholera often affects the same wetlands and the same bird populations year after year. This map layer portrays the incidence of avian cholera in the United States. It was produced by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), which was established to address the health and disease issues of free-ranging wildlife. The center collects information on wildlife mortality events such as those caused by avian cholera, assesses the impact of disease on wildlife, identifies the role of various pathogens in contributing to wildlife losses, and works to develop effective disease prevention and control strategies. The avian cholera information was extracted from NWHC's EPIZOO database, which is a long-term record of more than 25 years of information on epizootics (epidemics) in wildlife. EPIZOO tracks die-offs throughout the United States and its territories, primarily in migratory birds and endangered species.

The Wildlife Mortality Information – Avian Cholera database shows county-level information on avian cholera events in the United States, including the dates of each event, the five top species involved, and the number of deaths. Also available in the National Atlas are databases describing mortality events due to avian botulism, avian lead poisoning, and organophosphate/carbamate poisoning, as well as a database with county-level counts of wildlife mortality events. More detailed information on avian cholera and other disease epidemics in wildlife is available from the NWHC Disease Information page, and from the Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases.

Related Links:

If you download the data for Wildlife Mortality Information – Avian Cholera, you may also want to download the Wildlife Mortality Information – Frequency and the 2001 County Boundaries data. The Wildlife Mortality frequency information and the County Boundaries map layers can be used together to create a map of wildlife mortality that is similar to the map in the Map Maker. The Avian Cholera map layer provides additional information about specific events.
Download Wildlife Mortality Information – Frequency Data
Download 2001 County Boundaries