Wyoming Officials Seek Dead Sage Grouse for West Nile Tests
ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department wants people to turn in dead sage grouse they find so the birds can be tested for West Nile virus.
Sage grouse have little resistance to West Nile and the virus is often fatal to the chicken-sized, ground-dwelling birds.
Wyoming is among just a handful of states with large populations of sage grouse.
Leslie Schreiber with the Game and Fish Department says recent wet weather could encourage mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile to sage grouse.
The Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reports you're unlikely to catch West Nile by handling a dead bird. State officials say people who find a sage grouse that hasn't died from an obvious injury should double-bag the carcass and take it to a local Game and Fish office.