Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
State Tries to Corral Lethal Bird Disease in Flooded Tulare Lake
By admin
Published 8 months ago on
August 23, 2023

Share

Avian botulism, a lethal disease for birds, has been found spreading throughout Tulare Lake. The disease is caused by bacteria that thrive in shallow, warm waters with decaying organic matter.

Jesse Vad

SJV Water

The bacteria that causes the disease is found naturally in wetland soil. But it doesn’t produce the toxin that causes the disease unless environmental conditions are right. As temperatures soared in the San Joaquin Valley over the past few months, Tulare Lake warmed, causing perfect conditions for the disease to spread.

Neighboring wildlife areas, such as the Kern National Wildlife Refuge, often have standing, shallow water for bird habitat. The difference is that the water flow in refuges can be controlled and changed if an outbreak is suspected, wrote a spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in a statement.

Warming Lake Temperatures, Decaying Animals

Part of the problem is not just the warming temperatures, but dead, decaying animals in the lake. Any decaying organic matter can fuel the bacteria, wrote the spokesperson in a statement.

The lakebed was home to a Foster Farms chicken operation. An unknown number of those chickens died in the floodwater.

But the state spokesperson said that was probably not a factor in the spread of the disease because those chickens likely decomposed and were eaten by other animals before the weather warmed.

Foster Farms declined to answer any questions about its operation in the lakebed.

Mitigation of the outbreak falls on CDFW. The department is conducting surveillance via airboats and removing dead and affected birds, wrote the spokesperson. The airboat surveys are also driving birds out of hot spots, reducing exposure, they wrote.

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge is the base of the department’s operations and provides housing and facilities for bird rehabilitation.

Multiple Agencies Linked in Anti-Botulism Effort

CDFW is also collaborating with other agencies. A response team has been assembled and includes staff from the California Office of Emergency Services, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Natural Resources Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the California Waterfowl Association.

CDFW is paying for the mitigation efforts out of its budget, wrote the spokesperson. Although the spokesperson said the agency expects reimbursement from FEMA.

Staff from the California Waterfowl Association are also supporting cleanup and surveillance by purchasing supplies.

Funding for the rehabilitation of affected birds hasn’t been determined yet, wrote the spokesperson.

Local agencies have little to do with the outbreak.

The Kings County Office of Emergency Services is not involved, said Abraham Valencia, the emergency services manager. And it’s not a major concern for the county.

“The only thing concerning would be if somebody comes across a dead fish or a dead bird and they eat it,” said Valencia. “But the areas around Tulare Lake, they’re not really populated.”

The county is monitoring levees and water levels and is receiving reports on botulism from the state, Valencia said.

About SJV Water

SJV Water is an independent, nonprofit news site dedicated to covering water in the San Joaquin Valley. Get inside access to SJV Water by becoming a member.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

DON'T MISS

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

DON'T MISS

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

DON'T MISS

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

DON'T MISS

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

DON'T MISS

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

DON'T MISS

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

DON'T MISS

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

DON'T MISS

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

DON'T MISS

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

UP NEXT

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

UP NEXT

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

UP NEXT

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

UP NEXT

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

UP NEXT

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

UP NEXT

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

UP NEXT

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

UP NEXT

Fresno Fire and Police Ramp up Probe Into Fires at Cemeteries

UP NEXT

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

Local Education /

2 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

3 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

3 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

Breaking News /

3 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

4 hours ago

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

Local Education /

4 hours ago

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

4 hours ago

Charges Against Trump and Jan. 6 Rioters at Stake as Supreme Court Hears Debate Over Obstruction Law

4 hours ago

Fresno Fire and Police Ramp up Probe Into Fires at Cemeteries

4 hours ago

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

4 hours ago

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

A proposal to levy a fixed charge on customers of California’s big investor-owned utilities will harm low-income households, further l...

28 mins ago

28 mins ago

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

2 hours ago

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

Local Education /
2 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /
2 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

3 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

3 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

Breaking News /
3 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

4 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend