The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Incident Command Team, in collaboration with partner agencies, continues to develop and implement conservation strategies to help California condors considering Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Strategies include implementation of vaccine trials, field monitoring, and adaptation of current management practices to be increasingly nimble and flexible in response to future HPAI outbreaks.
Black Vulture Vaccination Trial Results
Final analysis for samples collected from the black vulture vaccine trial are complete. The samples were evaluated for antibody titers that are commonly used as surrogate markers against influenza and other pathogens. See the August 18 weekly update for details.
California Condor Vaccination Trial
Vaccination trials of condors in managed care continues. All vaccinations have been completed. Veterinarians are monitoring the birds and continuing to collect blood samples consistent with trial design. Twenty condors have received the vaccine, and five condors are serving as a control group. Trials will run into October.
Group 1 received a vaccination of 0.5ml on two occasions (initial injection and booster).
10 condors completed vaccine administration. Samples collected on day 21 are pending analysis.
Group 2 received a single 1 ml dose vaccine.
10 condors completed vaccine administration. 21-day samples collected on six birds. Samples are pending analysis.
Group 3 includes control birds. They will not receive vaccines, but blood samples will be collected.
Ongoing Field Operations
Construction of new condor pens at Bureau of Land Management’s Vermillion Cliffs and Liberty Wildlife are underway. New infrastructure will improve biosecurity and capacity for the program to respond to any future disease outbreak.