Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

October 1981


Although property damage and losses can be inflicted by wild birds throughout the entire year, avian-vectored diseases of livestock are primarily a winter phenomenon in the Great Plains states. Reasons for this include the following: (1) During the winter season the birds congregate in flocks of sufficient size to be of epidemiologic significance. (2) There is a high degree of interaction between birds and livestock only when limited food induces the birds to forage among confined animals and when adverse weather forces the birds to seek shelter in housing units for livestock. (3) Colder temperatures increase the time of survival of pathogens transmissible by the avian species.