Avian influenza virus has been detected in a wild bald eagle found dead in Chester County, Pennsylvania. This marks the first detection of the virus in birds in Pennsylvania since the virus was first …
Avian influenza virus has been detected in a wild bald eagle found dead in Chester County, Pennsylvania. This marks the first detection of the virus in birds in Pennsylvania since the virus was first identified in North America in December 2021.
In addition to the bald eagle, diagnostics are pending regarding five wild hooded mergansers, four were found dead and the 5th was exhibiting signs of the virus and had to be euthanized. As of March 2022, the virus outbreak has impacted domestic or wild birds in more than 20 States across the Eastern and Midwestern United States.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission continues to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Agriculture, the Wildlife Futures Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System to monitor for the virus in wild and domestic bird populations throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
While the virus can potentially infect humans, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that the current virus outbreak is primary an animal health issue that poses low risk to the health of the general public. No human cases related to this avian influenza virus have been detected or reported in the United States.
Pennsylvanians can assist with the virus surveillance efforts by reporting any sick or dead wild birds particularly the above mentioned species, to the PA Game Commission at 610-926-3136 or online to: email@example.com.
PA Releases Deer Harvest Estimates!
The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported results from the 2021-22 deer seasons, which ended in January. Hunters harvest an estimated 376,810 whitetail deer. The statewide buck harvest was estimated at 146,320 and the anterless harvest at 231,490.
That take, overall, is down about 13% compared to 2020-21, when it recorded the largest deer harvest in 16 years, harvesting an estimated 435,180 deer. It is, however, similar to the estimated statewide deer harvest during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. 22% of hunters took an antlered deer and it was said that is right in line with the previous four-year average and better than in years past.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said, “Hunters have embraced antler restrictions that are in place since 2002. Pennsylvania is routinely producing some really impressive deer on both public and private ground. We see that in the entries coming into our big game records program, in the photos smiling hunter’s share, and in the deer we see when our staff visits deer processors to collect harvest data. We couldn’t have any of that without a well-managed deer herd and cooperation on the part of our hunters.”
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