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Colorado DOW Still Puzzled by Duck Deaths 
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Post Colorado DOW Still Puzzled by Duck Deaths

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) continues to test Northern Shoveler ducks at their Fort Collins laboratory, as the undetermined cause of duck deaths reaches the 4-week mark. To date, 600+ ducks have been collected from various sites around the Metro area, including Metro Wastewater, Northglenn Water Treatment Facility, Boulder Wastewater, Littleton/Englewood Wastewater and Sunfish Lake near The Breakers apartments in Denver.

CDOW veterinarians have only been able to identify ailments that are not affecting the birds at this point. Avian Influenza and Avian Cholera test results have come back negative and histology from the birds shows no clinical signs of disease. There are no conclusive test results pointing to the cause--additional tests are being conducted at United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) labs in Ashland, Oregon and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) labs in Madison, Wisconsin. CDOW and USFWS are confident there is no significant risk to public health.

“We are focusing on what causes the ducks to lose their waterproofing as well as the cause of the malnutrition evident in many of the birds,” said Dr. Laurie Baeten, CDOW Veterinarian, “There are many factors we need to consider in trying to investigate a die-off and we are doing all we can to methodically apply the science available to us.”

Many ducks from the Metro Wastewater plant have been rescued by their staff and brought to rehabilitation clinics throughout the Front Range, an effort the CDOW greatly appreciates.

“We are pleased with the commitment of all of the agencies in reporting the problem and helping us try to solve it,” said Melanie Kaknes, District Wildlife Officer for the CDOW.

Colorado Division of Wildlife is continuing to investigate the duck deaths. The public is encouraged to report sick or dead ducks by calling the Colorado Help Line at 1-877-462-2911.

Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:15 am
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