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Wild Birds and Emerging Diseases: Investigating the role of geese from Eastern Mongolia in the potential spread of avian influenza virus.

Swan goose --Photographer: USGS
The death of large waterfowl species such as wild swans (Cygnus spp.) has been one of the first indicator species to the presence of H5N1 in Asian and European countries; however their role in the geographic spread of the disease remains poorly understood.  The migration of swan geese describes a major route within the East Asian Flyway – a migration corridor extending from Australasia to the Russian tundra at the northern extent.  We are tracking their migratory movements to better understand this flyway and the potential interface of wild birds and poultry.

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Project Details

US Geological Survey (USGS) partnered with the University of Oklahoma (OU), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia (WSCC) for this 2014 project. This study was supported by USGS (Grant A14-0064), National Institutes of Health (NIH) FIC (1R56TW009502-01) and NIAID (1R01AI101028-01AI).


1) capture and mark swan geese in eastern Mongolia to examine their migration routes

2) sample their populations for the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

3) quantify avian influenza transmission dynamics between wild waterbirds and poultry.

FAO Contact For This Project

Scott Newman
+84-(0)4-394 24856 
ECTAD Programme - Vietnam
Food & Agriculture Organization, United Nations
No. 3, Nguyen Gia Thieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

CAS Contact For This Project

Cao Lei & Wang Xin &
Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100085, Beijing, P. R.China
OU Contact For This Project

Xianqming Xiao
Center for Spatial Analysis
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK 73019-9704
WSCC Contact For This Project

Nyambayar Batbayar
Undram Plaza, Office 404,
Bayanzurkh District, Ulaanbaatar, 210351, Mongolia

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