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By Kelly Davis rehab centers that have concentra­

Endepecaenl-MaJ..I tions of raptors together are very wor­ BIRD AND WEST�NILE VIRUS
Mosquitoes are quietly awaiting a ried." West Nile virus affects more than crows 1 Carolina wren
more hospitable season to seek out The South Carolina Department of and blue jays. Among the species on the • 1 loggerhead shrike
their blood meals. and when it comes. Health and Environmental Control's National Wildlife Health Center's list of � 1 osprey
more than people will. be in danger: Molecular Laboratory has detected species testing positive: The complete WNV-positive species list can
Researchers are increasingly con­ West Nile virus in the brain tissue of • Ruby-throated hummingbirds be found online at:
cerned about the toll of the virus on 18 American crows and 16 blue jays, by WW'II. nwhc.usgs.gov/researchlWestnileiwn
� Mallard and wood ducks
birds. far the most-impacted species in the vaJ1ected.html
Golden and bald eagles
As canaries sacrificed their lives to state, according to a Nov. 1 report.
� Eight species of hawk
warn coal miners of dangerous levels In all. 49 birds have tested positive Other Internet resources:
Wild turkeys
of gas, other birds, particularly the so­ out of 777 submitted to the lab. • Georgia WNV information:
called corvids, a subgroup consisting The list is not an absolute tally of health.state .ga. us/ep i/vbd/mosqu ito.shtmI
Birds testing positive in South Carolina as � South Carolina WNV information:
of jays and crows. have been the har­ positive bird cases because the lab
of Nov. 1: V-NIW. scdheC.n ellHS/westn ile/ind ex.htm
bingers of West Nile virus in many could only test dead birds people hap­
states as the African germ spread out pened to submit. and it stopped accept­ 18 crows • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service WNV
from New York City starting in 1999. ing birds Nov. 15 until the spring. Even • 16 blue jays resources: mig ratorybirds. fws.gov/issuesl
The mosquito-borne virus has been before then, the lab had stopped taking � 4 northern cardinals WNVirus/wnv.html
detected in 43 of the 48 lower states, birds from counties in which a posi­ .1 hawk <> National Wildlife Health Center:
and the five eastern provinces of tive finding of the virus had already <> 1 house sparrow www.nwhc.usgs.gov/
Canada. It has proven deadly to peo­ occurred.
ple, birds, horses and even reindeer on In the Upstate, Pickens, of their total populations in South Thurmond Lake, Ms. Hope said. Six
Western farms. Some birds, such as McCormick, Edgefield and Saluda Carolina. eagles have been found dead from the
swallows, seem to do just fine with the counties have yet to experience a posi­ The state lias 170 nesting pairs of disease so far this year, and she sus­
virus in their blood. Others, such as tive West Nile case. Bird cases bald eagles, and they are falling prey pects that more have died than been
crows, suffer as much as 100 percent occurred this summer in Anderson not only to urban pressure but a new found.
mortality once irte f cled. Where rap­ and Oconee counties, and a horse con­ menace: avian vacuolar myelinopathy, To rule out West Nile virus, every
lors and woodpeckers fit in that spec­ tracted the virus in northern or AVM. The neurological disease bird found dead from AVM also is test­
trum is an open Question. Abbeville County. causes brain wasting that leads to ed for the virus, she said.
"It does concern us," said Charlotte What scares some bird researchers death in a matter of days for coots and ''All have come up negative so far,"
Hope of the South Carolina is that some of the species known to bald eagles that eat them. she said. "I guess we can expect (a pos­
Department of Natural Resources. be susceptible to the virus, including Some 14 eagles died of the disease itive finding) to happen. Every year,
"We've heard of a lot of raptor deaths eagles and some woodpeckers, are last year, including several nesting
in Ohio and other places. Certainly already precariously perched in terms around the southern part of Strom Please see West, Page 2B
., ::"n Cle r� . Inae'l€Hdent- to.ll. Monday. NO\', 25, 2002 .t: REGION

From Page 18 Survey's National Wildlife tists are try ing to answer is if "OUf preliminary- evidence posiiive for West Nile. and nated out of Clemson
Health Center in Madison, the raptors, being predators. is that West Nile virus should more are likely to turn up. University by Ralph Costa of
they're finding more and
Wisc .. where AVM also is are getting the disease direct­ be cor.sidered." she said. Ms. Saito said. the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
more ca ses. [t's ,1 matter of
being studied. West Nile is ly from mosquitoes or if they "This is the first year the rap· Service.
time." Ths.t could spell trouble for
still so new to the United are catching it from the ani­ tors seemed to be affected in So far, most dead red-cock·
the red-cockaded woodpecker.
Protecting raptors and States, hardly any ihforma­ mals they eat, as appears to large numbers." aded 1V00dpeckers he and his
which used to populate vast
other threatened birds, such tion is available, she sa id. be the case with AViV!, she Taking into account the associates have found were
swaths of natural longleaf
as the red·cockaded wood­ "Other than crows and blue said. statistical probability that simply old, he said.
pine forests blanketing the
pecker, from West Nile virus jays, we don't really know the Ms. Saito said her lab is in more birds were affected than However, "it seems like just
Southeast. Their habit t has
requires knowing how vulner­ impact on other species," she the midst of checking about actually found and turned in, a matter of time before a red­
all but disappeared and they
�: Ie thev <Ire to the disease said. "There are a lot of birds 60 hawks and eagles for West "we're probably talking well cockaded woodpecker gets
are now the subject of a fed·
: ne! il'YS-th.?y get it. that probably carry infection Nile virus that were submit­ into the thousands," she said. it," he sa id.
eral recovery project coord i-
Among researchers work­ and are transmitting it. We ted by raptor rehabilitation Specimens of at least two
ing on those problems is Emi just don't know it yet." cen ters in a dozen woodpecker species - downy
Saito of the U.S. Geological One of the questions scien- Midwestern states. and red-headed - have tested
--"·Seaso et's