Bird die-off strikes Klamath wildlife refuge

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YREKA, Calif. (AP) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is blaming a lack of water for a massive die-off of migrating birds at a wildlife refuge on the Northern California-Oregon border.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/I0UxmD) that up to 20,000 birds have died at the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge since February -- the worst die-off in the region in about a decade.

Fish and Wildlife spokesman Matthew Baun says only about half the refuge was flooded this year. That contributed to a higher concentration of the birds, increasing disease transmission.

The dead waterfall have been found to be suffering from avian cholera.

Environmentalists say the die-off shows water resources are not being properly managed.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com