"Scarce Water Spreads Disease on Waterfowl Refuge"

"Dave Mauser walked the edge of a mudflat, peering underneath the dried brown rushes where one coot after another had gone to hide and then die."

""Now the coots are getting the worst of it," said Mauser, head biologist on the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, the nation's first large marshland preserved for waterfowl habitat. "Prior to that it was the snow geese and the white-fronted geese."

Standing in line for scarce water behind both endangered fish and agriculture, Lower Klamath Lake has watched one marsh after another dry up in recent years. Now migratory geese, ducks and other waterfowl that come here by the millions, following the Pacific Flyway, are so closely packed together that an outbreak of avian cholera has killed more than 10,000 birds, mostly pintail ducks, Ross' geese, snow geese and now coots."

Jeff Barnard reports for the Associated Press April 8, 2012.

Source: AP, 04/09/2012