ST. PAUL, Minn. — Test
results from the first year of a study indicate that
ruffed grouse in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan can
survive the West Nile virus.
The Minnesota Department of
Natural Resources on Tuesday reported that samples from
grouse shot by hunters last year found antibodies
consistent with West Nile in about 13% of the birds
sampled in Minnesota and Michigan, and 29% in Wisconsin.
But only a few sampled birds were still sick.
Charlotte Roy of the
Minnesota DNR says the study shows at least some birds
exposed to the virus survive, and they're not sick when
harvested in the fall. But she says it doesn't show how
many may die from the mosquito-borne disease over the
The DNR says good habitat
can produce healthier birds and increase survival chances.