Skip to main content

Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM)

Personnel author:
Other author:
Wallace H. Woods III
Bridgette M. Haram
Jim Ozier

Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM) was first documented in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana) at DeGray Lake, Arkansas in 1994. Since then, the disease has been documented in freshwater bodies across the southeastern United States.  Clinical signs of AVM in birds include a general lack of coordination while walking, swimming and flying, and the inability to remain upright in the water (Figure 1).   This often-fatal disease is most frequently observed during the fall and winter months on or near water bodies with invasive aquatic vegetation.  Affected birds are prone to predation, drowning, starvation and injury.

Keywords (optional):
Topic Area:
Wildlife Management
Publication Type: