Officials have finally announced the reason for the unexpected deaths of several doves in the Permian Basin at the beginning of September.
Lab results from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center and USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories have determined dove’s died from pigeon paramyxovirus-1, a bird-specific virusTexas Parks and Wildlife Biologist Annaliese Scoggin said.
“There are no documented cases of the virus being transmitted to people,” Scoggin said, adding that hunters who may have eaten an infected dove should be fine.
However, some strains of viruses though in the Avian paramyxovirus group have been shown to cause mild conjunctivitis in people who directly handle large numbers of infected birds, a news release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife state.
Concern over dead doves began after several people in the Odessa, Midland and Big Spring area began reporting finding dead birds around their homes.
Scoggin said this is the first time pigeon paramyxovirus-1 has been identified in white-winged doves, though Eurasian-collared doves were also involved in this outbreak. The TPWD will continue to monitor the spread of this virus, though it is not considered a major threat to dove populations in Texas, the release stated.