Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Charles F. Gritzner

Second Advisor

Kenneth F. Higgins

Third Advisor

Edward P. Hogan


Avian Cholera (Pateurella multocida) has infected and killed thousands of migrating waterfowl each year since 1975 in Nebraska’s rainwater basin area. Disease outbreaks in migrating waterfowl populations just prior to the nesting season are of concern to biologists. Feedlots and itner-wetland basin surface water transfer mechanisms of the avian cholera causative agent, P. multocida, were investigated using remote sensing techniques. Wetland basin characteristics (classification type, adjacent landuse, basin landuse, and basin densities) were also investigated for relationships to 1981 avian cholera outbreaks. No surface drainage relationships were found that would permit the transfer of P. multocida from one wetland basin to another. Feedlots were not found to be associated with avian cholera outbreaks. My findings suggest that wetland basin density, basin landuse, water regimes, and adjacent landuse are related to and may have an influence on avian cholera outbreaks in the Nebraska rainwater basin area. Management recommendations include evaluation of hazing techniques, managing wetlands for open areas of surface water, and the development of a plan for wetlands restoration to increase basin density.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wetland ecology
Chicken cholera
Waterfowl -- Nebraska -- Diseases


Includes bibliographical references (pages 30-31)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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