Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



Published in Avian Diseases, Vol. 24, No.4, October-December, 1980.


A coccidiosis epizootic has occurred in lesser scaup (Aythsa affinis) at Bluestem Reservoir in eastern Nebraska during the spring in each of three recent years: 1976-1978. Losses peaked during the period from mid-March through April. As much as 29 % of the peak population of scaup using the reservoir died. Necropsies of 72 of the nearly 1390 scaup that died revealed destruction and sloughing of the intestinal mucosa and associated hemorrhaging. Fibrinonecrotic cores were frequently found in the intestinal lumens. Scrapings from the intestinal mucosal contained massive numbers of oocysts of the coccidian Eimeria aythyae. This is the first report of recurrent epizootics of coccidiosis in free-flying waterfowl.