For Second Year In A Row, Hundreds Of Migrating Geese Die In Eastern Idaho

May 10, 2016

Over a period of several days in mid-March, 335 geese were found dead at Mud Lake and Market Lake Wildlife Areas in eastern Idaho. If this story sounds familiar – that’s because it is.

Credit Bryant Olsen / Flickr Creative Commons

Last year, national headlines told the story of thousands of geese that fell from the sky in the same area. Turns out it is unlikely the birds literally fell from the sky – but Idaho Fish and Game biologists figured out that some of the 2,000 birds found dead at the time had died of avian flu, and some had died of poison farmers left for rodents.

Idaho Fish and Game officials say the geese this year died from phosphide exposure. Although the numbers are much smaller than last year’s, the cause of the die-off could be similar. Phosphide is used in pesticides as a fumigant.

Fish and Game does not know where the exposure occurred, but says the agency is working with federal wildlife officials on the issue.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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