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Migratory Bird Flyways and Introductions of Avian Influenza via Alaska


Pintail Duck. Photo by Jeff Wasley. Alaska lies within the migratory routes of birds that move between North America and East Asia. Because of these migratory routes, Alaska is a likely location for initial introductions of foreign-origin avian diseases. Concerns for human health and the impacts of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza on domestic have prompted an inter-agency surveillance program. The USGS has been part of this effort since 2006 and has contributed significant scientific information and analytical advances for decision-making by domestic poultry and natural resource agencies.

The USGS continues to conduct surveillance and research each year on wild, migratory birds throughout North America. Research at the Alaska Science Center strengthens the efficiency and effectiveness of avian influenza surveillance across North America, while increasing our understanding of virus ecology in wild bird hosts. The Alaska Science Center uses migratory, genetic and immunological data to: identify likely routes of virus introduction, determine priority species and regions to sample, and document changes to the genetic diversity of avian influenza that will strengthen future decision-making.

More information can be found here: Avian Influenza Research

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