USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Home Who We Are Where We Are What We Do Products Search Outreach Jobs Contacts

Wild Birds and Emerging Diseases: Avian Influenza transmission risk & wild birds in Nigeria

A white faced whistling duck ready for release
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of the lethal subtype H5N1 was first detected in Nigeria in early 2006, following the rapid spread of the virus through Europe due to migratory birds. Nigeria was one of the first countries in Africa to be impacted by HPAI H5N1 and the virus has since devastated the poultry sector with over one million mortalities reported.

Project Details

To learn more about the role of wild birds in the transmission of HPAI, a collaborative team from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), U.S. Geological Survey (Western Ecological Research Center) and Patuxent Research Center), Wetlands International, A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, the Swedish Ottenby Banding Station, the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of the Environment. Waterfowl species were selected to represent different scales of migratory movement with varying potential for the transmission of avian influenza. The Garganey (Anas querquedula) is a long-distant migrant, while in contrast the White-faced whistling duck (Dendrocygna viduata) and Spur-winged geese (Plectropterus gambensis) are African migrants.


The objectives of this research include 1) characterize the migratory movements of Garganey, White-faced whistling ducks and Spur-winged geese with satellite telemetry & 2) conduct avian influenza sampling and collect morphometric data from all birds captured during field activities.

This study builds on earlier work conducted in 2006 (

FAO Contact For This Project 
    Scott Newman
    EMPRES Wildlife Unit
    Food & Agriculture Organization, United Nations
    Rome, Italy 00153

USGS Contact For This Project
John Takekawa - Emeritus
(707) 562-2000
San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station
505 Azuar Drive
Vallejo, CA 94592
View this person's Details


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:

References to non-U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) products do not constitute an endorsement by the DOI.

* DOI and USGS link policies apply.