RECENTLY A NUMBER OF Eurasian collared doves near El Paso have tested positive for avian paramyxovirus, specifically Pigeon Paramyxovirus-1, or PPMV-1. Dead doves have also been reported in Alpine.
Past outbreaks have been observed in the vicinity of many of the larger urban centers of the Trans-Pecos and Panhandle regions such as Midland, Lubbock, and Alpine, but outbreaks may occur elsewhere within these regions. The majority of PPMV-1 outbreaks in wild birds in the United States have involved Eurasian collared doves and rock doves (pigeons).
Symptoms include a dove becoming lethargic and reluctant to move, producing green diarrhea, or having difficulty in standing or holding its head upright. The virus can cause conjunctivitis (pink eye) in humans. Therefore, if you encounter multiple dead or dying doves, do not handle the birds without hand and eye protection.
There is no known risk to cats or dogs from PPMV-1, but we recommend keeping pets away from infected birds.
Some strains of PPMV-1 have been shown to cause disease and death in domestic poultry. Chickens can contract the disease from indirect contact such as dove feces in chicken feeding areas. Therefore, backyard chicken owners may want to take precautions to minimize potential contact between chickens and doves.
If an outbreak occurs in your area, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recommends discontinuing feeding and watering wild birds to decrease possible transmission between doves and other birds. If multiple sick or dying doves are located in your area, please contact a local TPWD biologist or Don Kahl (phone: 806-475-1308; email: [email protected]).
Additionally, we advise the use of protective gloves, masks, and glasses if you handle sick or dying birds in these areas.
Reporting any kind of incident that might be related to this could be of great help to researchers and potentially help stop the spread of what could become much bigger problem for our doves.
A demonstration on how to breast your dove, freeze them to preserve flavor and then grill them wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese and jalapeño.
— TF&G Staff Report