Following 6 weeks without any significant wildlife mortalities, over 100 dead ruddy ducks were found in the New River delta area on December 18, 1998. Since then, over 900 dead birds have been picked up. The majority of dead birds are ruddy ducks and eared grebes. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center has diagnosed avian cholera. Since the onset of this die-off, the refuge staff have picked up 2,387 birds -- mostly eared grebes and ruddy ducks.
The nesting colony of double-crested cormorants on Mullet Island is doing well and does not show any signs of disease. The refuge staff estimate 2,000 - 3,000 nests are present.
Meanwhile, seven research projects
have been initiated on the Salton Sea to establish baseline data. Areas of research
are limnology, avian botulism, fisheries populations and species composition,
bird contaminants, shoreline vegetation surveys, and contaminants.
MORTALITY ROSTER BY SPECIES AS OF April 14, 1999
|American White Pelican||22|
|Great Blue Heron||8|
|Black-crowned Night Heron||2|
Total Birds = 2387
Total Species = 40
Summary of 1997 Fish and Wildlife Mortalities
Summary of 1996 Avian Botulism Event
Why is the Salton Sea Important?
Summary of 1996-1997 Fish Pathology Findings
Wildlife Mortality Estimates 1987-1996