Waterfowl Diseases

Our lab’s previous, and continuing studies have included extensive research on the ecology of diseases affecting waterfowl and wetland ecosystems. These studies have focused on disease ecology and contaminants in waterfowl, on the effects of disease on waterfowl populations, and on how wetland environmental conditions influence the risk of disease outbreaks. Most of these research studies have addressed the ecology of avian cholera in snow geese and other waterfowl, avian botulism in wetlands systems, and lead poisoning ducks.



Michael D. Samuel, PhD
(Lab Leader)


Tim Piazza
(Former Postdoc)


Julie A. Blanchong, PhD
(Former Postdoc)



Avian Cholera

Shorey, R. I., K. T. Scribner, J. Kanefsky, M. D. Samuel, and S. V. Libants.  2011.  Inter-continental gene flow among Western Arctic populations of lesser snow geese.  Condor 113:735-746.

Blehert, D. S., K. L. Jefferson, D. M. Heisey, M. D. Samuel, B. M. Berlowski, and D. J. Shadduck. 2008. Using amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis to differentiate isolates of Pasteurella multocida Serotype 1. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 44:209-225.

Williams, C. K., M. D. Samuel, V. V. Baranyuk, E. G. Cooch, and D. Kraege.  2008.  Winter fidelity and apparent survival of lesser snow goose populations in the Pacific flyway. Journal of Wildlife Management 72: 159-167.

Samuel, M. D., R. G. Botzler, and G. A. Wobeser. 2007. Avian Cholera. Chapter 12.

Blanchong, J. A., M. D. Samuel, and G. Mack. 2006. Multi-species patterns of Avian Cholera mortality in Nebraska’s rainwater basin. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 42(1) pp. 81-91..

Blanchong, J. A., M. D. Samuel, D. R. Goldberg, D. J. Shadduck, and M. A. Lehr. 2006. Persistence of Pasteurella Multocida in wetlands following avain cholera outbreaks. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 42(1) pp. 33-39.

Blanchong, J. A. et al. 2006. Wetland environmental conditions associated with the risk of Avian Cholera outbreaks and the abundance of pasteurella multocida. Journal of Wildlife Management 70(1).

Samuel, M. D., D. J. Shadduck, and D. R. Goldberg. 2005. Avian cholera exposure and carriers in greater white-fronted geese breeding in Alaska, USA. J. Wildlife Disease 41(3) pp. 498-502.

Lehr, M. A., R. G. Botzler, M. D. Samuel, and D. J. Shandduck. 2005. Associations between water quality, pasteurella multocida, and avian cholera at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 41(2), pp. 291-297.

Samuel, M.D., D.J. Shadduck, D.R. Goldberg, and W.P. Johnson. 2005. Avian cholera in waterfowl: the role of lesser snow and Ross’s geese as disease carriers in the Playa Lakes Region. J. Wildlife Disease 41:48-57.

Samuel, M. D., D. J. Shadduck, D. R. Goldberg. 2004. Are Wetlands the Reservoir for Avian Cholera? Journal of Wildlife Diseases,40(3), pp. 377-382.

Samuel, M. D., D. J. Shadduck, D. R. Goldberg, M. A. Wilson, D. O. Joly, and M. A. Lehr. 2003. Characterization of Pasteurella Multocida Isolates from Westland Ecosystems During 1996 To 1999. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 39(4) pp. 798-807

Samuel, M. D., D. J. Shadduck, D. R. Goldberg, and W. P. Johnson. 2003. Comparison of Methods to Detect Pasteurella Multocida in Carrier Waterfowl. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 39(1) pp. 125-135.

Samuel. M. D., D. R. Goldberg, A. E. Smith, V. V. Baranyuk, and E. G. Cooch. 2001. Neckband retention for lesser snow geese in the western arctic. Journal of Wildlife Management. 65(4):797-807.

Samuel, M. D., K. A. Convirse, and K. J. Miller. 2001. Disease mortality events involving Ross’ geese. Pages 33-42 in T. J. Moser, edition. The Status of Ross’s Geese – Report of the Arctic Goose Joint Venture Ross’ Goose Subcommittee.

Samuel. M. D., J. Y. Takekawa, V. V. Baranyuk, and D. L. Orthmeyer. 1999. Effects of avian cholera on survival of lesser snow geese anser caerulescens: an experimental approach. Bird Study. 46 (suppl.), S239-247.

Samuel, M. D., J. Y. Takekawa, G. Samelius, and D. R. Goldberg. 1999. Avian cholera mortality in lesser snow geese nesting on Banks Island, Northwest Territories. 1999. Wildlife Society Bulletin vol. 27, no. 3.

Samuel, M. D., D. J. Shadduck, D. R. Goldberg, V. Baranyuk, L. Sileo, and J. I. Price. 1999. Antibodies against pasteurella multocida in snow geese in the western arctic. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 35(3), pp. 440-449.

Moore, M. K., D. J. Shadduck, D. R. Goldberg, and M. D. Samuel. 1998. A cryopreservation method for pasteurella multocida from wetland samples. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 34(1), pp. 182-185.

Samuel, M. D., D. R. Goldberg, D. J. Shadduck, J. I. Price, and E. G. Cooch. 1997. Pasteurella multocida serotype 1 isolated from a lesser snow goose: evidence of a carrier state. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 33(2), pp. 332-335.


Avian Botulism

Piazza, T. M., D. S. Blehert, F. M. Dunning, B. M. Berlowski-Zier, F. N. Zeytin. M. D. Samuel, and W. C. Tucker.  2011.  In vitro detection and quantification of botulinum neurotoxin type E activity in avian blood.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77:7815-7822.

Goldberg, D. R., M. S. Samuel, T. E. Rocke, K. M. Johnson, and G. Linz. 2004. Could blackbird mortality from avicide DRC-1339 contribute to avian botulism outbreadks in North Dakota? Wildlife Society Bulletin, 32(3):870-880.

Rocke, T. E., M. D. Samuel, P. K. Swift, and G. S. Yarris. 2000. Efficacy of a type C botulism vaccine in green-winged teal. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 36(3).

Rocke, T. E. and M. D. Samuel. 1999. Water and sediment characteristics associated with avian botulism outbreaks in wetlands. Journal of Wildlife Management 63(4):1249-1260.

Rocke, T. E., N. H. Euliss, Jr., M. D. Samuel. 1999. Environmental characteristics associated with the occurrence of avian botulism in wetlands of a northern California refuge. Journal of Wildlife Management 63(1):358-368.

Sandler, R. J., T. E. Rocke, M. D. Samuel, and T. M. Yuill. 1993. Seasonal prevalence of clostridium botulinum type C in sediments of a northern California wetland. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 29(4), pp. 533-539.

Rocke, T. E. and M. D. Samuel. 1991. Brain Acetylcholinesterase activity in botulism-intoxicated mallards. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 27(2), pp. 317-319.


Other Avian Diseases

Ruth, J. M., D. R. Petit, J. R. Sauer, M. D. Samuel, F. A. Johnson, M. D. Fornwall, C. E. Korschgen, and J. P. Bennett. 2003. Science for avian conservation: Priorities for the new millennium. The Auk 120(1): 204-211.

Samuel, M. D. and E. F. Bowers. 2001. Lead exposure in American black ducks after implementation of non-toxic shot. Journal of Wildlife Management 64(4):947-953.

Samuel, M. D., D. R. Goldberg, C. B. Thomas, P. Sharp, J. R. Robb, G. L. Krapu, B. N. Nersessian, K. P. Kenow, C. E. Korschgen, W. H. Chipley, and M. J. Conroy. 1996. Exposure of wild waterfowl to mycoplasma anatis. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 32(2), pp. 331-337.

Korschgen, C. E., K. P. Kenow, W. L. Green, D. H. Johnson, M. D. Samuel, and L. Sileo. 1996. Survival of radiomarked canvasback ducklings in northwestern Minnesota. Journal Wildlife Management, 60(1):120-132.

Korschgen C. E., K. P. Kenow, W. L. Green, M. D. Samuel, and L. Sileo. 1996. Technique for implanting radio transmitters subcutaneously in day-old ducklings. Journal Field Ornithology, 67(3):392-397.

Samuel, M. D., D. R. Goldberg, C. B. Thomas, and P. Sharp. 1995. Effects of mycoplasma anatis and cold stress on hatching success and growth of mallard ducklings. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 31(2), pp. 172-178.

Goldberg, D. R., M. D. Samuel, C. B. Thomas, P. Sharp, G. L. Krapu, J. R. Robb, K. P. Kenow, C. E. Korschgen, W. H. Chipley, M. J. Conroy, and S. H. Kleven. 1995. The occurrence of mycoplasmas in selected wild north American waterfowl. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 31(3), pp. 364-371.

DeStefano, S., C. J. Brand, and M. D. Samuel. 1995. Seasonal ingestion of toxic and nontoxic shot by Canada geese. Wildlife Society Bulletin 23:502-506.

Samuel, M. D. 1992. Influence of Disease on a population model of Mid-continent mallards. Trans. 57th N. A. Wildl. & nat. Res. Conf.

Samuel, M. D., E. F. Bowers, and J. C. Franson. 1992. Lead exposure and recovery rates of black ducks banded in Tennessee. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 28(4), pp. 555-561.

Koford R. R., J. Sauer, D. H. Johnson, J. D. Nichols, and M. D. Samuel. 1992. Stochastic Population Model of Mid-Continental Mallards Pages 170-181 in Wildlfie 2001: Populations, D. R> McCullough and R. H. Barrett (eds). Elsevier Science Publishers, LTD, London, England.

Weiss, N. T., M. D. Samuel, D. H. Rusch, and F. D. Caswell. 1991. Effects of resighting errors on capture-resight estimates for neck-banded. Journal Field Ornithology, 62(4):464-473.

Samuel. M. D., D. H. Rusch, K. F. Abraham, M. M. Gillespie, and J. P. Prevett. 1991. Fall and winter distribution of Canada geese in the Mississippi flyway. Journal Wildlife Management, 55(3):449-456.

Rocke, T. E. and M. D. Samuel. 1991. Effects of lead shot ingestion on selected cells of the mallard immune system. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 27(1), pp. 1-9.

Sileo, L., P. R. Sievert, and M. D. Samuel. 1990. Causes of mortality of albatross chicks at midway atoll. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 26(3), pp. 329-338.

Samuel, M. D., N. T. Weiss, D. H. Rusch, S. R. Craven, R. E. Trost, and F. D. Caswell. 1990. Neck-Band retention for Canada geese in the Mississippi flyway. Journal Wildlife Management, 54(4):612-621.