West Nile Research Doesn't Bode Well for Sage Grouse

Laramie, WY – Researchers say they have yet to find a sage grouse that has survived a West Nile Virus infection. That's an ominous sign for sage grouse, which is already experiencing a decrease in habitat. But the state's West Nile coordinator remains optimistic. Terry Creekmore points out that no virus is completely lethal and he thinks it's likely that some sage grouse have survived infection, but just haven't been found yet. In experiments, even the smallest doses of West Nile have killed sage grouse. And there's evidence that West Nile can spread directly from sage grouse to sage grouse without mosquitoes.