New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Karl Moffatt, (505) 476-8007
Public contact: (888) 248-6866
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SEPT. 12, 2015:
DUCK HUNTERS ASKED TO STOP AT HARVEST CHECK STATIONS
SANTA FE – Duck hunters are asked to bring their harvested birds to check stations this season so Department of Game and Fish biologists can obtain samples for testing.
The effort is part of a broader, national plan to monitor wild bird populations for strains of avian influenza. New Mexico is host to hundreds of thousands of migratory birds each year, said department Bird Program Manager Kristin Madden.
“We’re encouraging hunters to come in after harvest so we can check their ducks,” Madden said. The quick, voluntary inspection consists of swabbing the bird for a sample, she said.
There are several strains of avian influenza that afflict wild and domestic birds, but none are known to be harmful to humans. Dogs used in wild bird hunting are not considered at risk of acquiring avian influenza and there have been no documented cases of the virus infecting dogs.
A lone bird at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge tested positive for the flu last year. Department biologists hope to sample about 1,300 birds this year to determine distribution of avian influenza in the state.
A department check-station will be off Interstate 25 at the Bernardo exit near the intersection of U.S. Route 60 and New Mexico 116 or inside the gate of the nearby Bernardo Wildlife Management Area. The check station will be in operation during the September teal hunting season.
The hours and dates are:
- 6:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 through Tuesday Sept.15.
- 6:30 to 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday Sept. 19.
The public’s cooperation is greatly appreciated.