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rEPORT A SICK WATERBIRD

Avian botulism is a paralytic disease that kills thousands of waterbirds globally each year. Infected birds will present with limp necks, trouble walking and flying. Wetland managers and caretakers throughout Hawai'i must swiftly respond to suspected cases of botulism to limit outbreak spread. Please report confirmed or suspect cases of avian botulism to our Hawai'i botulism network below. 

1. Report your suspected botulism case to initiate response protocol. This will send an email to our listserv (hiwaterbirds-grp@hawaii.edu). Please wait for a response about collecting samples.

Please include the following fields in your email:

Reporters Name:

Reporters Phone Number:

Reporters Email Address:

Location of the sick bird(s):

Species affected:

Approximate number of animals affected:

2. Read about management practices for controlling avian botulism

3. A follow-up email concerning your suspected botulism case will provide details on data reporting and specimen collection

4. Collect specimen samples and submit to USGS for testing following proper protocol

Click the links below for for additional resources on:

USGS website on avian botulism in Hawaiʻi 

Field manual and procedure for managing Avian Botulism at your wetland

Espelund and Klaveness (2014) paper on botulism outbreaks in natural environments

Our lab's research on avian botulism

WHISPERs national animal disease tracking platform 

Submit carcasses for testing with the following steps:

USGS avian botulism summary sheet

Carcass collection and submission protocol

Carcass collection data form