In a follow-up on the California condors which died from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports as of April 17, 2023, 20 condors have died in the Arizona-Utah flock; HPAI has been confirmed for 10 of those condors.
Eight birds were captured and brought in for supportive care. Four of those condors died shortly thereafter and are included in the total of 20 deceased birds. Four condors are still receiving supportive care and have shown improvement.
On April 7, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was publicly confirmed as the cause of mortality for three California condors found in northern Arizona, according to wildlife officials. The Arizona-Utah population moves throughout northern Arizona and southern Utah, using the landscape within Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, the Kaibab Plateau, and surrounding areas. To date, the virus has not been detected in the other condor populations in California or Baja California, Mexico.
HPAI is considered low risk as a human health concern, according to the Centers for Disease Control; however, infections in humans have been reported. HPAI is highly contagious in wildlife and can spread quickly by several routes, including bird-to-bird contact, environmental contamination with fecal material, and via exposed clothing, shoes and vehicles. To protect people and birds, it is important to take precautions to prevent spread of the virus.