INDIANAPOLIS — State wildlife officials say avian cholera has killed more than 300 wild waterfowl in a southwestern Indiana county.

The state Department of Natural Resources says avian cholera is common among North America’s waterfowl, but the recent bird deaths in Gibson County are the first time the disease has been documented in wild birds in Indiana.

The DNR says about 350 birds, mostly snow geese, have been found dead since December in western Gibson County.

The DNR and its federal and private partners have increased surveillance of waterfowl populations across Indiana and are removing and disposing of carcasses to decrease the risk of transmission to other birds.

Avian cholera is caused by a bacterium spread by dead or dying birds. It poses minimal risk to humans and the commercial poultry industry.