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Wildlife Investigations Lab
1701 Nimbus Road Suite D
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Tel: (916) 358-2790
Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) is primarily a bird disease that is particular to domestic poultry, but can also infect most other birds both domestic and wild, and to a lesser extent, mammals. It is one of many types of avian influenza viruses. The HPAI H5N1 virus that is causing high mortality in poultry and wild birds in other countries has been identified in Asia, Africa, India, and Europe, but to date has not been found in North America.
One of the most widely held speculations of the movement of the virus to North America is through wild migratory birds, particularly waterfowl and shorebirds in the Pacific Flyway. Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel are currently monitoring this and other diseases that could enter California via migratory birds.
- Facts for Everyone
- Brochure for Hunters (PDF)
- Printable Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Wild Bird Migratory Patterns
- Technical Information
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife Live-Bird and Hunter-Harvest Avian Influenza Surveillance in California Waterfowl July 2008 - February 2009
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife Surveillance and Response Plan for the Occurrence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Birds: The CDFW worked closely with the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture, and other state and federal agencies, to develop this surveillance and detection plan for HPAI H5N1 in California wild birds. The plan lays out a sampling strategy that prioritizes bird species based on the likelihood that they would intermingle with infected wild birds from other parts of the world. Sampling efforts will focus on areas with the highest concentration of these priority species and will include:
- live birds,
- hunter-harvested wild birds,
- environmental sampling, and
- wild birds involved in morbidity and mortality events.
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife Avian Influenza Supplemental Progress Report: This supplement has been prepared to summarize and update information provided in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Surveillance and Response Plan for the Occurrence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Birds.
Reporting Dead Birds
Where to report sick/dead birds or groups of sick/dead birds:
- Individual sick or injured birds in the wild should be left untouched where they are found and be reported to the local CDFW office and/or wildlife rehabilitation centers. Except for unusual circumstances, callers will be referred to a wildlife rehabilitator.
- Dead wild birds numbering four or less should be reported to the Dead Bird Hotline at 1-877-968-2473 or by visiting their website.
- Any domestically reared sick birds or domestically reared birds that have died from disease should be reported to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or 1-909-947-4462.