Avian cholera outbreak in Parma kills hundreds of birds

Posted at 6:02 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 20:15:57-05

Avian cholera can kill a bird in as little as six hours.

The disease is making the rounds along the Boise River between Notus and Parma on private land. The infection is very often found in this area each year. However, this year's outbreak is much larger than usual.

A crew with the Idaho Fish and Game have been busy this week picking up dead birds for safe disposal. The disease has mostly killed ducks but geese and other bird populations have also been impacted.

Treasure Valley birds tend to converge in the area during the winter because the water flows there year round.

"That was a good spot for all the birds to be," said Tyler Archibald, Idaho Fish and Game regional habitat biologist. "So, hopefully, with the river going now and some other bodies of water opening up locally we can get the birds to disperse and we won't have as much mortality."

The avian cholera death toll is up to 6,500 birds and counting. Anyone who spots a large group of dead waterfowl is encouraged to report the location to fish and game by dialing (208) 465-8465.

Biologists say the public's health is not at risk.