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Newcastle Disease Suspected in Bird Die-Offs

gardener41, flickr

ST. PAUL  (AP) — Wildlife officials say a virus has killed hundreds of birds on Pigeon Lake in west-central Minnesota and Minnesota Lake in southern Minnesota.

The Department of Natural Resources suspects Newcastle disease. DNR wildlife veterinarian Erika Butler says final test results are expected later this month.

Around 700 cormorants, 100 pelicans and some gulls, herons and egrets have been found sick and dead at Pigeon Lake, near Litchfield. Fewer than 100 birds were affected at Minnesota Lake, in Faribault County.

Other bird die-offs have been reported this summer on Leech Lake, Lake Vermilion and the Canadian side of Rainy Lake. Test results are pending.

Newcastle outbreaks in 2008 and 2010 killed several thousand birds across Minnesota. In 1992, an estimated 35,000 cormorants died across the Great Lakes, upper Midwest and Canada.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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