Wildlife officials investigating dove deaths in West Texas
AUSTIN – State and federal wildlife officials are investigating a series of active dove mortality events in and around the West Texas communities of Midland, Odessa and Big Spring. The cause has yet to be determined, but poisoning has not been ruled out. At this time, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department simply desires to provide hunters information on this localized event.
Dove samples have been submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI, where initial necropsy findings revealed no conclusive cause of death, according to Dr. LeAnn White, a wildlife disease specialist. Additional disease screening and toxicology test results are pending.
Although there are no known human or animal risks associated with the mortality events at this time, Dr. White recommends precautions should be taken. One Midland resident reported his dog died shortly after consuming several dead doves, but no autopsy was performed and cause of death was not determined. Conversely, several residents have reported dogs and cats consuming dead doves with no ill effects.
Reports of dead doves and sparrows first surfaced in late July and have been sporadic but ongoing, although the total number of birds impacted so far is believed to be less than 250, mostly Eurasian collared dove and white-winged dove.
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