Epizootic Vacuolar Myelinopathy of the Central Nervous System of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American Coots (Fulica americana)

Bald Eagle () Science Article 1


Unprecedented mortality occurred in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at DeGray Lake, Arkansas, during the winters of 1994-1995 and 1996-1997. The first eagles were found dead during November, soon after arrival from fall migration, and deaths continued into January during both episodes. In total, 29 eagles died at or near DeGray Lake in the winter of 1994-1995 and 26 died in the winter of 1996-1997; no eagle mortality was noted during the same months of the intervening winter or in the earlier history of the lake. During the mortality events, sick eagles were observed overflying perches or colliding with rock walls. Signs of incoordination and limb paresis were also observed in American coots (Fulica americana) during the episodes of eagle mortality, but mortality in coots was minimal.

N. J. THOMAS, C. U. METEYER, AND L. SILEO, Vet Pathol 35:479-487 (1998)

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