Scientists in Wisconsin have discovered a virus infecting nearly one-third of America’s bald eagles.
They found the virus while searching for the cause of Wisconsin River Eagle Syndrome near the Lower Wisconsin River. The newly identified bald eagle hepacivirus, or BeHV, may contribute to the fatal disease, which causes the birds to stumble and have seizures.
But BeHV was also found in eagles without symptoms of the syndrome, making a direct link between virus and disease difficult to confirm.
The virus and the syndrome don’t appear to threaten the resurgence of the bald eagle, which was removed from the endangered species list in 2007.