The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue to test wild birds for early detection of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza.
A total of 200 samples from live birds will be taken in conjunction with duck banding efforts in August and September, and 400 samples from hunter-harvested ducks will be collected in September and October. Geese will not be tested because they aren’t known carriers of the virus.
Hunters may be asked by a Game and Fish Department employee if their ducks can be sampled. Sampling only takes a few minutes and does not damage birds.
In addition, department biologists will conduct morbidity and mortality surveillance of any unusual bird die-offs or illnesses through October.
Avian influenza testing efforts began nationwide in 2006, and all samples for the highly pathogenic H5N1 subtype have tested negative.