An avian cholera (Pasteurella multocida) epizootic was observed among wildfowl at the Centerville Gun Club, Humboldt County, California (USA) in January 1978. Compared to their live populations and use of the area, coots (Fulica americana) died in proportionately greater numbers than any other species. Coots collected by gunshot were evaluated for sex and age composition, and morphometry from November 1977 through mid-January 1978 at this site. There was no substantial difference in the sex, age or morphometry between birds dying of avian cholera and from those dying from gunshot. Assuming coots dying of gunshot are representative of the general population, it appears there was little selection among coots by P. multocida. There was evidence for a sequential mortality similar to that reported previously at this site: coots were the first birds to die, followed by American wigeon (Anas americana) and northern pintails (A. acuta acuta); northern shovelers (A. clypeata) and mallards (A. platyrhynchos) died late in the epizootic.
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Vol. 25 • No. 2