Diseases / List of Physical / Traumatic Diseases / Disease description:

Impact Injury in Waterfowl and Cranes

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

 

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General and References

Disease Summary

WATERFOWL Various traumatic lesions associated with waterfowl flying into wires and other solid objects, or solid objects hitting waterfowl.

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Flying Accidents
  • Collision Injury
  • Wire Strike - (See also: Electrocution)
  • Car Accident
  • Shooting
  • Shotgun Injury
  • Hail-related mortality
  • Vehicle collision

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Disease Type

 Physical / Traumatic

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

Power lines, telephone wires, bridges, buildings, fences, vehicles (cars, planes), and other solid objects, including the ground; also hail, shotgun pellets, airgun pellets, bullets etc. (J7.42.w2, B9.6.w1, B11.36.w4, B15, B36.51.w51, B37.x.w1).
  • Impact injuries to sandhill cranes occur due to collisions with moving vehicles as well as collisions with power lines, and gunshot injuries. [1998](J311.21.w1)
  • Severe hailstorm. (J40.52.w2)
  • Power lines are a known hazard for many crane species, particularly when suspended across a river channel near to crane roost sites, or between roosting and foraging sites (since cranes make short, low-altitude flights between these areas). (P87.10.w9)
  • Inclement weather including conditions of reduced visibility (fog, precipitation, dense cloud cover) and high-velocity winds which interfere with flight control can increase the risks of cranes colliding with power lines. (P87.10.w9)
  • Intentional and unintentional human disturbance increases the risks of cranes colliding with lines. (P87.10.w9)

Infective "Taxa"

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Non-infective agents

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Physical agents

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne
Click image for main Reference Section

Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B9.6.w1, B10.20.w16, B11.36.w4, B11.38.w6, B15, B36.51.w51, B37.x.w1
J4.99.w1
J7.S1.w4
J40.19.w1, J40.40.w1
P8.3.w1
J36.41.w1, J36.44.w1

Cranes
B115.8.w4
P87.10.w9

Other References

Code and Title List

J1.22.w2
J48.69.w2
V.w5
J7.26.w2, J7.42.w2, J7.43.w2, J7.50.w1

Cranes
B480.7.w7
J1.47.w5, J50.78.w1, J40.52.w2, J59.28.w1,J178.98.w1, J714.34.w1, J718.2.w1
N46.13.w1
P87.3.w5, P87.4.w6, P87.8.w5, P91.1987.w6, P92.1.w6, P108.9.w4
W2.Nov2013.w3

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General

WATERFOWL Variable traumatic lesions.
CRANES Variable traumatic lesions including Long bone Fractures in Cranes

Clinical Characteristics

WATERFOWL
  • Variable, depending on nature of collision.
  • May be found dead or stunned, sometimes visible or palpable injury, e.g.
  • Linear wounds if cable collision
  • If power line involved, may also be signs of Electrocution.
  • Leg fracture and/or wing fracture and/or neck fracture.
  • Air sac leakage: local or generalized subcutaneous emphysema.
  • Neurological signs if struck head.
  • Ataxia, limb paresis or limb paralysis. Uncontrolled tail wagging may be seen associated with spinal injuries. N.B. nervous signs may improve with time - recovery may require up to eight weeks.

(J40.19.w1, B9.6.w1, P8.3.w1, B11.34.w2, B11.38.w6)

  • Inability to fly and wing held partially raised to carry wing tip above and across back in wild lesser Snow geese Anser caerulescens and Ross’s geese Anser rossii with shoulder luxation. (B15).
CRANES There is more information available on pathology than clinical findings, because most cranes (particularly wild cranes) with notable impact injuries are found dead.
  • Injuries which have been documented in live whooping cranes include a fractured tarsus, an upper elbow injury requiring amputation. (P87.10.w9)
  • A crane which left a leg-mounted transmitter attached to a power line had a swollen hock and limped for a day but recovered. (P87.10.w9)
  • A juvenile whooping crane which hit a 115 kV power line in Colorado was found under the line and appeared dazed, struggling to stand, but recovered sufficiently to fly off 30 minutes later. (P87.10.w9)
  • In cranes which have run or flown into a fence or building and damaged the neck, ataxia, paresis or abnormal position of the neck. (B115.8.w4)
  • In an adult male Demoiselle crane which ran at high speed into a fence, ataxia, inability to stand, severe lateroflexion of the base of the neck, inability to support the head. (P1.1993.w11)
  • A drooping wing may be seen, or knuckling of a foot, due to nerve damage. (J311.21.w1)

Incubation

WATERFOWL Acute.
CRANES --

Mortality / Morbidity

WATERFOWL Variable. Common cause of death in swans in some areas of the UK (B9.6.w1); hailstorms may cause considerable local mortality (B15).
CRANES
  • [1985](P87.4.w6)
  • In 167 wild Grus grus - Common crane in Germany, 1998-2008, power line collisions were considered the main cause of death in 39 cranes (23.4%), trauma of unknown aetiology in 33 (19.5%), injuries from wire in 12 (7.2%), vehicular collision in four (2.4%) and collisions with wind turbines and light aircraft in one case each. [2011] (J1.47.w5)
  • Power line collisions are the greatest source of mortality for fledged whooping cranes in the migratory population breeding in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada, and wintering in Aransas, Texas, USA. It has been noted that eight of the 18 mortalities of known cause in the reintroduced Rocky Mountain population of whooping cranes prior to 1987 were due to power line collisions, while 20/166 known causes of mortality of nonmigratory reintroduced whooping cranes in Florida and 3/18 post-release mortalities of the migratory reintroduced Wisconsin whooping crane population were due to power line collisions. (P87.10.w9)

Pathology

WATERFOWL Variable, depending on the nature of the impact.
  • Bruising, subcutaneous and intramuscular haemorrhage over impact site.
  • Fractures of limbs and/or vertebrae. N.B. Avian bone tends to crack and shatter more readily than mammalian bone, due to the higher calcium content. Fractures are therefore more often comminuted. (B10.20.w16).
  • Crushed skull, severe mandible damage (hailstorm).
  • Tearing of skin (Hailstorms)
  • Liver may be ruptured, with associated subcapsular or intraperitoneal haemorrhage.
  • Kidneys may be ruptured.

(J36.44.w1, J40.19.w1, B15).

CRANES
  • Wing fracture in one juvenile Grus americana - Whooping crane.
  • In Grus canadensis - Sandhill cranes killed by a severe hailstorm in Oklahoma in October 1979, particularly skull fractures, also internal haemorrhage, bruised pectoral muscles and broken bones. (J40.52.w2, N46.13.w1)
  • In a severe thunderstorm in September 1977, with winds up to 90 mph and hailstones up to golf ball size, injuries included blows (by hailstones) to the head, neck and back; in sandhill cranes, broken leg and wing bones were particularly noted. (J439.10.w1)
  • In Grus canadensis - Sandhill cranes, following power line collisions, broken necks, wings and legs, sometimes multiple fractures. (J40.52.w2)
  • In  wild Grus grus - Common crane in Germany, 1998-2008, traumatic injuries were described as including subcutaneous and intramuscular haematomas of the shoulder girdle, long bones or chest, various fractures, and mild to severe internal haemorrhage -  of the lungs, air sacs, liver and kidneys. [2011] (J1.47.w5)
  • For five Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane colliding with low-level (30 ft off the ground) power lines after roosting nearby, injuries included a wing sheared off on one bird, a wing and a leg on another, and both legs on a third. [1956](J441.68.w1)
  • Sometimes damage to the cervical vertebrae and spinal cord from impact of the neck with e.g. fences or buildings. (B115.8.w4)

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Human Health Considerations

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

WATERFOWL
  • Larger species, especially swans, are more susceptible than smaller species to power line collisions. Juveniles may be more susceptible as less skilled at flying.

(B11.38.w6, B15).

CRANES
  • Whooping cranes appeared to be more susceptible than sandhill cranes in the San Luis Valley Colorado, USA, as a proportion of the population, probably due to their larger size and lower manoeuvrability. Also, juveniles were more vulnerable, with all five recorded collisions by whooping cranes (three fatal) being by juvenile birds. [1985](P87.4.w6)
  • High winds were noted to impair manoeuvrability and control of flight in cranes, with several near-collisions observed. It was not possible to confirm by observation the effects of reduced visibility due to fog or precipitation as observers could not observe properly. However, number of strikes was lower during a season with a lower number of foul-weather days. [1985](P87.4.w6)
  • Situation of power lines near to areas heavily used by cranes, and particularly when lines were between adjacent areas e.g. roosting and feeding areas, appeared to result in more collisions; this is probably due to lower flight altitude in such situations. Strikes are more likely also where birds are frequently flushed, such as while feeding in agricultural fields. [1985](P87.4.w6)

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

[N.B. Miscellaneous / Traumatic Diseases tend to be under-reported and the majority are likely to affect all waterfowl species, given exposure to the related disease agents/factors.]

Waterfowl

  • Tundra swan Cygnus columbianus found drowned on a beach in California following heavy surf conditions (J1.22.w2).
  • Trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator in Minnesota, USA (J7.S1.w4).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor, Bewicks's swans Cygnus columbianus bewickii and Whooper swans Cygnus cygnus (power line collisions) UK (J7.26.w2, J7.43.w2).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor in Scotland (e.g. power lines, trees) (J7.50.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor and/or Whooper swans Cygnus cygnus in Scotland (J36.41.w1, J36.44.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor in UK (J7.42.w2, B9.6.w1)
  • 'Free-flying' swans (trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator and/or whistling swan Cygnus columbianus) in British Columbia, USA (J14.19.w1).
  • Lesser snow geese Anser caerulescens in Manitoba, Canada having flown into the ground (apparently startled by sonic booms from aircraft) (B15).
  • Lesser snow geese Anser caerulescens and Ross's geese Anser rossii on migration (shoulder luxation): suspected goose-goose collisions (J40.45.w1, B15).
  • Wild ducks, adults and juveniles, hit by hail storms in Alberta, Canada: estimated mortality in one incident 76,7000 adult and 44,000 juvenile waterfowl (J40.19.w1).
  • Wild waterfowl, especially unfledged juveniles but also adults, hit by hail storms in North America, particularly in the Central Flyway (J40.40.w1).
  • Wild waterfowl hitting vehicles, telephone wires, power cables, television and radio towers, fences and buildings, aircraft etc., in North America (J40.40.w1).
  • Wild waterfowl hit by hail in North America and in Europe (B15).
  • Canada geese Branta canadensis striking power lines (trauma or electrocution not distinguished) in the UK (P12.10.w1).
  • Pinkfooted goose Anser brachyrhynchus in the UK, hit by car (V.w5).

Cranes

  • An estimated 1,000 or more lesser Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane were found dead, apparently killed by a severe hailstorm, lasting about 30 minutes, in the middle of the night. [1961](J50.78.w1)
  • In a severe thunderstorm in September 1977, with winds up to 90 mph and hailstones up to golf ball size, 14 sandhill cranes were among nearly 200 birds killed at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota. (J439.10.w1)
  • About 600 Grus canadensis - Sandhill cranes were killed by a severe hailstorm in Oklahoma in October 1979. (J40.52.w2, N46.13.w1)
  • Power line collisions were responsible for the deaths of a number of Grus canadensis - Sandhill cranes, with 51 carcasses retrieved from along the Platte River east of Kearney, Nebraska, USA; 15 of 17 carcasses examined had damage indicating impact with the power lines as the cause of death. (J40.52.w2)
  • Power lines strikes were considered as a significant case of mortality in Grus japonensis - Red-crowned crane in Hokkaido, Japan, 1960 to 1982, with 2.1% of adults and 13.4% of chicks killed by power line strikes, particularly at winter feeding grounds. This mortality was then reduced by fitting yellow plastic tubes to the power lines. [1983](P92.1.w6)
  • In the San Luis Valley, Colorado, USA, Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane and Grus americana - Whooping crane were found dead along the power lines, with sandhill cranes making up 67.8% of dead birds (78 cranes) and whooping cranes 2.6% (three birds), with Canada geese (eight birds, 7%) and ducks (20 birds including 11 mallard, two blue-winged teal, one green-winged teal, one ruddy duck, others unidentified,17.4%) and other species (two Fulica americana - American coot, one Ardea herodias - Great blue heron, one Tringa flavipes - Lesser yellowlegs, one Circus cyaneus - Northern harrier and one Eremophila alpestris - Horned lark also found. Two other whooping cranes struck power lines, one being apparently unhurt while the other fractured a wing and was transferred to the Patuxent Widllife Research Centre following amputation of the wing. [1985](P87.4.w6)
  • In Australia, Grus rubicunda - Brolga have been observed striking power lines. In a study, including a period when the line was not powered, two brolgas were among the birds found dead along a power line. Other species affected included particularly Cygnus atratus - Black swan (35% of casualties) and Threskiornis spinicollis - Straw-necked ibis (29% of casualties). One of the brolgas was found alive with severe bruising and a dislocated wing, and died during treatment; the other was found dead. It was considered that most casualties had struck the earth line - smaller in diameter, single rather than grouped, and least visible. [1987](P91.1987.w6)
  • Some Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane being caught using rocket nets were injured and killed directly by impacts of the rockets or the leading edge of the net. More were injured by being brought into rapid contact with the ground by the net just after they had become airborne. (P87.3.w5)
  • In a study of radio-equipped sandhill crane colts at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon, USA, one was hit by a car while crossing a road while another moved onto a private hay meadow and was killed by a hay swather. [1997](P87.7.w2)
  • A study in Extremadura, Spain,  along 3.5 km of power line in surveys 1992-1995  detected 25 dead Grus grus - Common crane over four winters (a survey on another line detected 23 dead great bustards). [2000](J59.28.w1)
  • Grus antigone - Sarus cranes have been found dead along the routes of high-tension power lines in India [it is not possible to say whether impact injury or electrocution was the cause of death, from the data provided, although some at least were considered to be electrocution].  [2001](J178.98.w1)
  • A juvenile Grus carunculatus - Wattled crane was found dying with injuries consistent with power line collision in South Africa; the open wounds were gangrenous and Myiasis was present. (J714.34.w1)
  • In 167 wild Grus grus - Common crane in Germany, 1998-2008, impact injuries were considered to be the main cause of death in a number of cranes: power line collisions were considered the main cause of death in 39 cranes (23.4%) [Electrocution was considered separately], trauma of unknown aetiology in 33 (19.5%), vehicular collision in four (2.4%) and collisions with wind turbines and light aircraft in one case each. Two or three lead shotgun pellets were detected in three cranes. [2011] (J1.47.w5)
  • Collision with a plane on an airport runway was recorded as the cause of death of one Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane in Florida. (P87.8.w5)
  • In Florida, five Grus americana - Whooping cranes died from electrocution/impact after flying into power lines; two incidents each involving a single bird occurred over the same an open field in two different years and it was determined that the conducting and ground wires were too close together, allowing the cranes to simultaneously touch live and ground wires, shorting out the circuit and causing electrocution of the bird. A group of three birds which collided with lines in the dark may have been disturbed from their roost and failed to see the power lines. (P87.8.w5)
  • In Florida, numerous Grus canadensis - Sandhill cranes are injured or killed on roads in Florida each year, with many confirmed vehicle collisions while some are thought to have collided with power lines or vehicles. (P87.8.w5)
  • In Grus americana - Whooping cranes at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, 1982-1995, spinal fracture/dislocation from running or flying into a fence resulted in the deaths of two juveniles and one adult. (P87.7.w8)
  • In an adult male Demoiselle crane which ran at high speed into a fence. (P1.1993.w11)
  • Impact with power lines may be the major cause of mortality in wild Grus paradisea - Blue crane. (W2.Nov2013.w3)
  • Hail killed two Grus vipio - White-naped crane chicks being parent-reared at the Amsterdam Zoo in 1938. (B480.7.w7)
  • A parent-reared Grus virgo - Demoiselle crane flew into an aviary wall and broke its neck. (P108.9.w4)

Host Species List

Waterfowl

Cranes

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Disease has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

  • Tundra swan Cygnus columbianus found drowned on a beach in California following heavy surf conditions (J1.22.w2).
  • Trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator in Minnesota, USA (J7.S1.w4).
  • In a severe hailstorm in Oklahoma in October 1979, 1,143 Anas crecca - Common teal, 861 Anas americana - American wigeon, 198 Anas acuta - Northern pintail, 93 Anas strepera - Gadwall, 91 Aythya collaris - Ring-necked duck, 76 Anas platyrhynchos - Mallard, 68 Anser albifrons - Greater white-fronted goose, 45 Anas discors - Blue-winged teal, 24 Branta canadensis - Canada goose, one Aix sponsa - Wood duck, also 203 Fulica americana - Coot, 11 Larus pipixcan - Franklin's gull, four Pelecanus erythrorhynchus - White pelican, one Calidris pusilla - Semipalmated sandpiper and one Charadrius vociferus - Killdeer were killed and the carcasses retrieved; an unknown number of ducks were injured and birds killed away from the shoreline were not retrieved. A single Sylvilagus floridanus - eastern cottontail carcass was found with the ducks and several injured Byto alba - Barn owls were observed. (N46.13.w1)
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor, Bewicks's swans Cygnus columbianus bewickii and whooper swans Cygnus cygnus (power line collisions) UK (J7.26.w2, J7.43.w2).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor in Scotland (e.g. power lines, trees) (J7.50.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor and/or whooper swans Cygnus cygnus in Scotland (J36.41.w1, J36.44.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor in UK (J7.42.w2, B9.6.w1)
  • 'Free-flying' swans (trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator and/or whistling swan Cygnus columbianus) in British Columbia, USA (J14.19.w1).
  • Lesser snow geese Anser caerulescens in Manitoba, Canada having flown into the ground (apparently startled by sonic booms from aircraft) (B15).
  • Lesser snow geese Anser caerulescens and Ross's geese Anser rossii on migration (shoulder luxation): suspected goose-goose collisions (J40.45.w1, B15).
  • Wild ducks, adults and juveniles, hit by hail storms in Alberta, Canada: estimated mortality in one incident 76,7000 adult and 44,000 juvenile waterfowl (J40.19.w1).
  • Wild waterfowl, especially unfledged juvenilesbut also adults, hit by hail storms in North America, particularly in the Central Flyway (J40.40.w1).
  • Wild waterfowl hitting vehicles, telephone wires, power cables, television and radio towers, fences and buildings, aircraft etc., in North America (J40.40.w1).
  • Wild waterfowl hit by hail in North America and in Europe (B15).
  • Anser indicus - Bar-headed goose have been recorded killed by power line strikes in Tibet. (J718.2.w1)

Cranes

  • An estimated 1,000 or more lesser Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane were found dead, apparently killed by a severe hailstorm, lasting about 30 minutes, in the middle of the night. [1961](J50.78.w1)
  • In a severe thunderstorm in September 1977, with winds up to 90 mph and hailstones up to golf ball size, 14 sandhill cranes were among nearly 200 birds killed at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota. (J439.10.w1)
  • About 600 Grus canadensis - Sandhill cranes were killed by a severe hailstorm in Oklahoma in October 1979. (J40.52.w2, N46.13.w1)
  • Power lines strikes were considered as a significant case of mortality in Grus japonensis - Red-crowned crane in Hokkaido, Japan, 1960 to 1982, with 2.1% of adults and 13.4% of chicks killed by power line strikes, particularly at winter feeding grounds. This mortality was then reduced by fitting yellow plastic tubes to the power lines. [1983](P92.1.w6)
  • In the San Luis Valley, Colorado, USA, Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane and Grus americana - Whooping crane were found dead along the power lines, with sandhill cranes making up 67.8% of dead birds (78 cranes) and whooping cranes 2.6% (three birds), with Canada geese (eight birds, 7%) and ducks (20 birds including 11 mallard, two blue-winged teal, one green-winged teal, one ruddy duck, others unidentified,17.4%) and other species (two Fulica americana - American coot, one Ardea herodias - Great blue heron, one Tringa flavipes - Lesser yellowlegs, one Circus cyaneus - Northern harrier and one Eremophila alpestris - Horned lark also found. Two other whooping cranes struck power lines, one being apparently unhurt while the other fractured a wing and was transferred to the Patuxent Widllife Research Centre following amputation of the wing. [1985](P87.4.w6)
  • In Australia, Grus rubicunda - Brolga have been observed striking power lines. In a study, including a period when the line was not powered, two brolgas were among the birds found dead along a power line. Other species affected included particularly Cygnus atratus - Black swan (35% of casualties) and Threskiornis spinicollis - Straw-necked ibis (29% of casualties). One of the brolgas was found alive with severe bruising and a dislocated wing, and died during treatment; the other was found dead. It was considered that most casualties had struck the earth line - smaller in diameter, single rather than grouped, and least visible. [1987](P91.1987.w6)
  • Some Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane being caught using rocket nets were injured and killed directly by impacts of the rockets or the leading edge of the net. More were injured by being brought into rapid contact with the ground by the net just after they had become airborne. (P87.3.w5)
  • In a study of radio-equipped sandhill crane colts at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon, USA, one was hit by a car while crossing a road while another moved onto a private hay meadow and was killed by a hay swather. [1997](P87.7.w2)
  • A study in Extremadura, Spain,  along 3.5 km of power line in surveys 1992-1995  detected 25 dead Grus grus - Common crane over four winters (a survey on another line detected 23 dead great bustards). [2000](J59.28.w1)
  • Grus antigone - Sarus cranes have been found dead along the routes of high-tension power lines in India [it is not possible to say whether impact injury or electrocution was the cause of death, from the data provided, although some at least were considered to be electrocution].  [2001](J178.98.w1)
  • A juvenile Grus carunculatus - Wattled crane was found dying with injuries consistent with power line collision in South Africa; the open wounds were gangrenous and Myiasis was present. (J714.34.w1)
  • In 167 wild Grus grus - Common crane in Germany, 1998-2008, impact injuries were considered to be the main cause of death in a number of cranes: power line collisions were considered the main cause of death in 39 cranes (23.4%), trauma of unknown aetiology in 33 (19.5%), injuries from wire in 12 (7.2%), vehicular collision in four (2.4%) and collisions with wind turbines and light aircraft in one case each. Two or three lead shotgun pellets were detected in three cranes.[2011] (J1.47.w5)
  • Grus nigricollis - Black-necked cranese have been recorded killed by power line strikes in Tibet. (J718.2.w1)
  • Collision with a plane on an airport runway was recorded as the cause of death of one Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane in Florida. (P87.8.w5)
  • In Florida, five Grus americana - Whooping cranes died from electrocution/impact after flying into power lines; two incidents each involving a single bird occurred over the same an open field in two different years and it was determined that the conducting and ground wires were too close together, allowing the cranes to simultaneously touch live and ground wires, shorting out the circuit and causing electrocution of the bird. A group of three birds which collided with lines in the dark may have been disturbed from their roost and failed to see the power lines. (P87.8.w5)
  • In Florida, numerous Grus canadensis - Sandhill cranes are injured or killed on roads in Florida each year, with many confirmed vehicle collisions while some are thought to have collided with power lines or vehicles. (P87.8.w5)
  • Impact with power lines may be the major cause of mortality in wild Grus paradisea - Blue crane. (W2.Nov2013.w3)

Host Species List

Waterfowl

Cranes

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

  • Inclement weather such as fog, high winds, low cloud; other disorienting factors (e.g. low-flying aircraft).
  • Collisions with wires may be particularly common during migration (spring and autumn), and increased in wind storms.
  • Birds encumbered by e.g. soil sticking to the feet may be more prone to hitting power lines while flying from feeding areas.
  • Hailstorms, which usually occur in summer, may act as a direct cause of injury.

(J4.99.w1, J7.26.w2, J40.19.w1, J40.40.w1, B15).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

Worldwide.

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

Worldwide.

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

WATERFOWL
  • History (e.g. seen to collide with car); site casualty found (under power lines, beside bridge, on road, etc.), physical evidence of injury in live bird, pathological findings.

(B15)

CRANES

  • Both free-living and captive cranes which have suffered serious/fatal injury from colliding with a solid structure (Impact Injury) may be found directly by/below that structure.(J48.69.w2)P87.4.w6
Related Techniques
WaterfowlINDEXDisInvTrCntr.gif (2325 bytes)

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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

WATERFOWL Electrocution if power line collision is involved; also Scalping.

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

WATERFOWL
  • Methocarbamol (a centrally-acting muscle relaxant) has been used in the treatment of a trumpeter swan following blunt muscle trauma. Methocarbamol was given at 44 mg/kg intravenously plus lactated ringer's solution intravenously and 4 mg dexamethasone intravenously (treatment of shock). (P1.1993.w11)
CRANES
  • In an adult male Grus virgo - Demoiselle crane which ran at high speed into a fence, with radiography indicating increased soft tissue density ventrally at C13-14 but no skeletal abnormalities, starting at 25 days after the injury, Methocarbamol (a centrally-acting muscle relaxant) was given 50 mg/kg intravenously every 12 hours for five days, also prednisolone sodium succinate, diazepam and lactated Ringer's solution. This treatment started on day 25. Improvement was seen within a few hours. On the fifth day, the dose of methocarbamol was reduced to 22 mg/kg intravenously every 12 hours, then to 32.5 mg/kg orally every 12 hours, continuing for 18 days.  (P1.1993.w11)
Related Techniques

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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

WATERFOWL Fracture repair:
  • The method chosen for fracture repair will depend on a variety of factors including: type of fracture, bone involved, age and size of bird and the required degree of post-operative function.
  • Strain on the pelvic limbs is considerable in larger species, such as swans (B11.36.w4). In general, results are better using techniques allowing immediate weight-bearing and normal joint function, such as external fixation and intramedullary pinning (B11.36.w4).
  • Restoration of flying ability is often less vital than for many other birds, particularly with birds from collections, or which may be released on sheltered lakes where an island provides safe roosting habitat (B11.36.w4, B11.23.12).
  • Amputation may be required if an affected limb becomes necrotic, grossly infected or is persistently paralyzed (P8.3.w1).

Post-operative management:

  • Provision of water is important for convalescent waterfowl; this must be clean and changed regularly. Contamination of surgical incisions is a considerable risk with dirty water. Sealing skin wounds with e.g. OpSite Spray (Smith and Nephew) may be used to reduce the risk of infection. (B11.36.w4).
CRANES
  • In cranes with neck injuries (indicated by ataxia, paresis or abnormal neck position), corticosteroids (Prednisolone or Dexamethasone for shock. (B115.8.w4)
  • Note: spinal injuries are usually severe and the crane is unlikely to fully recover, therefore euthanasia may be the most appropriate treatment in most cases.
  • In one crane, Methocarbamol, a muscle relaxant, was used. (B115.8.w4, P1.1993.w11)
  • In an adult male Demoiselle crane which ran at high speed into a fence. (P1.1993.w11)
    • Initially treatment for severe shock: intravenous Prednisolone sodium succinate and lactated Ringer's solution, also sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), vitamin E/selenium and vitamin B complex were given intramuscularly, and Diazepam was given intramuscularly as an anxiolytic and muscle relaxant.
    • Supportive care continue with fluids, corticosteroids and diazepam, initially 45 mg/kg intramuscularly, later orally for two months. (P1.1993.w11)
    • Sling support after further running into walls on days eight and nine followed by sternal recumbency on day 13.
    • Pool exercise - passive swimming therapy.
  • In cranes with a drooping wing or knuckling of a foot due to nerve damage, support of the limb in a normal position, using a snowshoe splint for the foot, and and figure-of-eight wing and body wrap for the wing. (J311.21.w1)
  • For cranes with long bone fractures due to impact see Long bone Fractures in Cranes
Related Techniques
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination WATERFOWL --
Prophylactic Treatment

WATERFOWL

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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection

WATERFOWL

  • Avoid siting power lines on known flight paths, increase visibility of power lines to birds by using markers (e.g. large plastic spheres) on wires.
  • Remove unnecessary fences from waterfowl production marshes.

(J40.40.w1, J48.69.w2, B20.14.w11, B37.x.w1)

CRANES
  • Consider the risks of cranes running/flying into pen supports, walls etc. when designing crane enclosures, and as much as possible design to minimise the risk of injury. (B115.8.w4)
  • Care should be taken when capturing and shipping cranes to minimise the risks of impact injuries occurring. (B115.8.w4)

For free-living cranes:

  • Increase visibility of power lines to birds. (P87.4.w6, P87.10.w9)
    • In Hokkaido, Japan, mortality of Grus japonensis - Red-crowned crane due to power line strikes was considerably reduced by fitting yellow plastic tubes to the power lines. [1983](P92.1.w6)
    • Cranes are known to react more to marked than to unmarked lines, rising up to cross over the lines sooner, and less cranes are found dead under marked than unmarked spans. (P87.10.w9)
  • Avoid situating transmission lines within 2 km of traditional roost or feeding sites. [1985](P87.4.w6)
  • Avoid situation of transmission or distribution lines between adjacent heavily-used areas such as roosting and feeding sites. [1985](P87.4.w6)
  • Educate the public to reduce flushing of cranes. [1985](P87.4.w6)
  • Consider burying lines in some circumstances.[1985](P87.4.w6)
Population Control Measures WATERFOWL --
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening WATERFOWL --
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