Climate Change raises the frequency of heavy rainfall events. If the sudden crash of quail in Texas in 2010 is a symptom of how deluges impact wild birds, we are in trouble.

Blood-sucking parasitic eyeworm a culprit to 2010 quail decline, re...

"In July of 2010, we had two major rain events of more than five inches each," he said. "That created a population explosion of insects, particularly crickets, which carry the eyeworm in a larval state. I'm convinced, based on our data, that the conditions may have been right to precipitate a massive insect population explosion, which in turn, created a quail population boom. But there was a catch."

Kendall believes that by eating crickets infected with eyeworms, quail were actually swallowing a poisoned pill. Eggs from eyeworms in quail would be left behind in the birds' feces, which in turn would be eaten by more crickets.

... the eyeworm can range in size from about an eighth of an inch to the diameter of a penny. Once inside the birds, they move freely from eye to eye through the sinus cavity, where they suck the blood of the birds, mate and release eggs.

"There's evidence of eyeworms all over the Rolling Plains now," he said.

Tags: blood-sucking eye worms, quail

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A powerful story of how quickly an extinction can occur, especially if we are not aware of a threat and do nothing to find the causes and cures and treatment. 

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