Golden Eagle

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Golden Eagle

Aquila chrysaetos

IDAPA Classification: Protected Nongame
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Health Issues Which May Affect This Animal

What Causes This Disease?

Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus is present in the environment. In birds that are immunocompromised or stressed, the fungal spores can invade the respiratory tissues and create matts of fungal hyphae.

Where Is The Disease Found?

Aspergillosis is found in soil across most of North America and been associated with mortality events in many areas in both waterfowl and raptors. Aspergillosis had been documented in waterfowl and raptors in Idaho.

Signs of Disease

Birds affected by aspergillosis are usually thin, lethargic and may present with open mouth breathing. Aspergillosis tends to be a chronic disease but can develop quickly depending on the number of spores inhaled. In birds that are chronically infected, either yellow to white thickened areas or thick mats of white to green fungus are present in the lungs and airsacs.

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What Causes This Disease?

West Nile Virus (WNV) is caused by a mosquito transmitted virus (Arbovirus) that is carried by birds, especially magpies, crows and ravens. Other birds, mammals, reptiles, horses and humans can contract the virus through the bite of a WNV infected mosquito. West Nile virus has a complex lifecycle between certain birds and certain mosquito species. Some birds like crows, magpies, ravens, birds of prey, and sage grouse are highly susceptible to WNV and it is often fatal in these species.

Where Is The Disease Found?

West Nile Virus is native to the northern parts of Africa, the Middle East and occasionally southern Europe. After introduction to North America in 1999, the virus spread to every state and most of the southern provinces of Canada. The first detection of WNV in Idaho was in 2003 and the disease has been reported annually ever since.

Signs of Disease

Signs of WNV vary by depending on the species affected. Some birds carry the virus, remaining asymptomatic while some species are highly susceptible. Clinical signs can range from no reaction to the virus to mortality, especially in corvids (crows, ravens and magpies). Finding dead ravens, crows, magpies, and birds of prey may indicate WNV is present in an area. WNV has also affected sage grouse in some areas of Idaho and the intermountain west. Birds usually do not show any clinical signs when infected with WNV. Chickens can be infected with WNV and not become sick. However, natural disease due to the virus has been reported in domestic geese, ducks, pigeons and chickens.

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