Water Conservation

Conservation Education

Avian Botulism Study - Sponsored by: Utah State University

In 1997, 400,000 - 500,000 birds died of avian botulism in the Bear River Delta of northern Utah. Utah State University conducted a study that determined winter-spring precipitation amounts and summer streamflows could be used to predict the outbreak occurrence. Preliminary data indicated that changes in water quality attributed to inflow sources and/or basin characteristics may impact the ecology of wetland sediments and contribute to outbreak initiation. The purpose of this project was to establish relationships between water and sediment chemistry variables and water-level fluctuations in impounded marshes on the Bear River Delta. Special emphasis concentrated on fluctuations attributed to irregular and high Bear River streamflows. This information determined the effects of these environmental perturbations on the probability of avian botulism outbreaks, and made water management recommendations aimed at reducing their probability of occurrences.

Contact: Utah State Univeristy, Utah: (435) 797-1226; or Bureau of Reclamation, Provo Area Office: (801) 379-1000.


Activities and Accomplishments

Last Updated: 4/4/17