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4319Yellow-billed Magpies & West Nile Virus

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  • Gary Zamzow
    Aug 31, 2005
      Yellow-billed Magpies and West Nile Virus

      Dear All,

      Yellow-billed Magpies are in trouble, and need your help.
      Some people in Davis are monitoring their numbers, and if you have any
      Magpies
      in your area, and would like to also monitor the populations please
      contact
      Bicycle Bird Biologists, and Magpie Monitors at:
      http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/wildlife/projects_BBB.html

      I have been counting Magpies for several months now, and their numbers
      are going down.

      Thank you.
      Gary Zamzow
      Davis, CA


      Below is a letter by Holly Ernest, who is the Magpie Count Coordinator.


      Hi Davis Bicycle Bird Biologists and Magpie Monitors (and those
      interested),
      California magpies have been dying by the hundreds these past weeks
      from West Nile Virus.  I have seen and heard very few of the usual
      magpies in my count area in west Davis during the past several days,
      except for numbers of dead and dying birds.  Several of you have also
      noted this in your emails to me.

      Thanks to a number of you who have sent in regular bird counts over
      the past year.  More counters are needed.

      Now is an especially important time to count and note information on
      all magpies you see.  Counts of zero magpies seen/heard, as always, are
      just as important, if not more important than counts with magpies
      observed. 

      If we don't take note and report bird numbers, magpies could be the
      proverbial tree falling in the forest - if no one is there to see it
      (and report it), what is the proof that a population decline really
      happened (from state and federal agency perspectives)?  I have been
      communicating with state and federal agencies with the aim magpies will
      not be a "silent (extinct) tree", but I need your help with data.  If
      the species is in jeopardy, data and science can provide the foundation
      for getting them listed as threatened or endangered and thereby
      providing legal protection from additional threats (like habitat loss)
      - but such protection will not be considered without data.

      *If you would like to start counting, but haven't lately, or aren't
      set up yet or it looked too difficult, please contact me. I aim to make
      it as simple and easy as possible so that everyone who wants to help
      can participate. Just count magpies during your regular biking or
      walking in Davis.  If you'd like to put up recruitment posters or help
      me with data compilation and analysis for Bicycle Bird
      Biologists/Magpie Monitors - send me an email.

      Some counters use Mac/Apple computers, and I may have difficulty
      reading Mac files - but please stay in touch with me so we can work out
      how to communicate the magpie counts.

      *If you know of anyone who may be interested in counting, feel free to
      forward my email address to them, along with this web site link:

      * Bicycle Bird Biologist & Davis Bird Counters web site:
      http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/wildlife/projects_BBB.html

      *West Nile Web sites:
          CA Dept of Health West Nile web site http://www.westnile.ca.gov/
          Sac-Yolo Mosquito Control Web site: http://www.fightthebite.net/

      *Happy Counting, avoid those mosquitoes, and email in your counts every
      few weeks.
      If you want to be removed from this email list, send me an email.

      Holly
      (')>     (')>    (')>    (')>    (')>
      Holly Ernest DVM PhD
      Wildlife and Ecology Unit
      Veterinary Genetics Laboratory
      School of Veterinary Medicine
      University of California

      EMAIL: hbernest@...
      PHONE: (530) 754-8245
      FAX:(530) 752-3556



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