Disease Outbreak Hits Eurasian Collared Doves in Vegas Area

Date: 11/2/12
Contact: Aaron Meier
Phone: (775) 688-1998

Lab results from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have determined that several dead Eurasian collared doves found in the Las Vegas area died from pigeon paramyxovirus-1 (PPMV1), a bird-specific virus.

According to Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) veterinarian Peregrine Wolff, the disease event was first reported in late September in a homeowner’s backyard in North Las Vegas. From that point until mid-October there were a total of 27 known mortalities. Mourning doves and rock doves (pigeons) were also present but were not affected. No further deaths have been found since October 18.

Eurasian collared coves are a medium sized dove roughly the same length as a rock dove. It gets its name from the black half-collar edged with white on its nape.

If you witness any sick or dying Eurasian collared doves or any other dove or pigeon species in the Las Vegas area, please report it to the Las Vegas NDOW office at 702-486-5127.

Though PPMV-1 has never been documented to infect humans, some strains of viruses in the avian paramyxovirus-1 (APMV-1) group have been shown to cause mild conjunctivitis in people who directly handled infected birds. Hunters should use standard precautions when handling and cooking wild game. Hunters should avoid shooting at birds exhibiting odd behavior or picking up birds not shot by them or someone in their hunting group. As with all wild game, hunters should properly clean and prepare dove and avoid consuming any game that appears abnormal.

There are also no records of transmission of PPMV-1 to other mammals, such as domestic pets. However, it is always good to keep pets away from wildlife exhibiting abnormal behavior (sick) or found dead.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license.