Virus killing doves in Bismarck area

Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 6:13 AM CST
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A virus is killing some doves in the Bismarck-Mandan area, state wildlife officials said Monday.

North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department says it has received “numerous” reports since December of dead and dying Eurasian collared dove. That dove is a nonnative species that typically does not fly south for the winter.

Officials have confirmed a virus — paramyxovirus-1 — is the cause.

Game and Fish officials are still working to document the extent of the disease outbreak in the area and whether it’s a problem in other parts of North Dakota.

The virus also affects pigeons and is believed to spread by direct contact between birds. North Dakota wildlife officials are urging people who notice die-offs in their backyards to remove birdbaths and bird feeders, where birds congregate.

Officials say the outbreak could become a greater concern should it linger into spring when mourning doves are migrating north.