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Audubon president says West Nile findings ‘low level of concern’

In response to recent reporting that West Nile Virus was found on the premises of Audubon Community Nature Center, President Leigh Rovegno released the following statement:

“Audubon Community Nature Center has been a test site for the New York State Health Department for over 15 years. They use our site to help them know what we as Chautauqua County (N.Y.) residents should be aware of in our local environment. They have many public and private sites across the state to perform testing, most often areas that are highly used by the public.

“The representative from the Health Department who performed the recent testing found that 3.5 percent of the samples collected tested positive for West Nile. The mosquitos found to be carriers of West Nile Virus were a particular species that affect birds, not humans.

“The New York State Health Department representative feels that it is a low level of concern and that we can continue to operate normally. We are encouraging visitors to use bug repellant, wear long pants, and protect themselves as they normally would from getting bitten by mosquitos or other potentially hazardous insects when they do anything outdoors.

“For questions related to this, you may contact Audubon Community Nature Center President Leigh Rovegno at (716) 569-2345 or email her at lrovegno@auduboncnc.org.”

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren.

The three-story Nature Center building contains interactive displays, a collection of live animals, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop. Building hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m.

The 600-acre wetland preserve with its exhibit of Liberty, the non-releasable Bald Eagle, can be visited from dawn until dusk daily. Depending on the weather and the season, you can enjoy the native tree arboretum, gardens, picnic area, and natural play space and use the more than five miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing.

To learn more about Audubon and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or visit auduboncnc.org.

Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways. Visit at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62, between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa., or online at auduboncnc.org.

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