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What Caused September’s Migratory Bird Deaths?

December 18, 2020 In September, thousands of birds passing through New Mexico died during their fall migration. Wildlife experts studied reports from around the state, as well as about 1,000 carcasses people collected. They learned that while there wasn’t a single cause of death for all the birds, almost all of them were “severely emaciated,” according to a December 4 press release from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Although the state has yet to release those reports, as requested by NMPBS, we caught up with New Mexico State University’s Dr. Martha Desmond to learn more about the mortality event—and what the findings might mean for the future. To watch our September New Mexico In Focus segment about the die-off, visit: 

Correspondent: Laura Paskus 

Martha Desmond, professor, New Mexico State University’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation