June 28, 2007

Chemical Pollution Suspected in Parleys Creek Trout Die Off: Up to 500 Trout Succumb
The Salt Lake Tribune - sltrib.com
27 Jun 2007
B Prettyman and J Fahys
Photo courtesy of Al Hartmann/Salt Lake Tribune
Area: Utah USA

A chemical spill or dump of unknown origin is the likely culprit in the deaths Tuesday of as many as 500 cutthroat trout in Parleys Creek, with dead fish littering the stream from Parleys Nature Park at the mouth of the canyon to Sugar House Park down below. Water and fish samples were collected by several agencies, including the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Utah Department of Water Quality. "We have some ideas, but we really can't say at this point what happened," said Mike Slater, an aquatics biologist with the Utah Division of Wildife Resources (DWR). "Things are leading us toward some kind of chemical that was spilled or put in the water."

Terry Pantuso was making his way down into the nature park with his dog Tuesday morning - the park is a popular off-leash area for dogs - when a woman heading up from the gully told him what had occurred. "She told me there were dead fish everywhere," Pantuso said. "I was up there [Monday] and saw them swimming and [now] they are all dead." State and federal officials, along with representatives of Trout Unlimited, converged on Parleys Creek and found the entire population of native Bonneville cutthroat in the nature park floating belly up.

Seabirds Mysteriously End Up Dead on Beach
The Florida Times-Union - jacksonville.com
27 Jun 2007
D Connor
Area: Florida USA

Greater shearwaters, by the hundreds, are being found. And no one really knows why.

Hundreds of dead and dying seabirds are washing up on Florida's Atlantic coastline and wildlife experts say the cause is a mystery. But they do know this: The die-off is far larger than in past years. The birds, called greater shearwaters, spend most of their lives over the open ocean, coming ashore only to nest, said Tara Dodson, habitat conservation coordinator for St. Johns County. The worst of the die-off extends from Ponte Vedra Beach south to Hobe Sound in Martin County.

Tests conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have ruled out avian influenza, spokeswoman Joy Hill said. Mary Fineberg of Fairfax, Va., encountered four of the dead birds along a quarter-mile of beach in St. Augustine during a morning stroll Tuesday with her son. She wondered why no one was picking them up or whether they posed a health threat. "They just didn't look diseased or anything," she sad.

Lakes' Wildlife Health on the Decline
Chicago Public Radio - chicagopublicradio.org
07 Jun 2007

Our watery neighbor to the east, Lake Michigan, is undergoing major scrutiny by US and Canadian scientists.

Scientists Discover a New Bat Virus in Humans
CSIRO Australia (Posted by sciencedaily.com)
27 Jun 2007

CSIRO scientists have played a key role in discovering that bats are the likely host of a new virus that can cause a serious but apparently non-fatal respiratory tract illness in humans. As reported today in the internationally renowned journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), the discovery was made by a team from CSIRO Livestock Industries’ Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong, Victoria, and the National Public Health Laboratory in Selangor, Malaysia. The new virus was named Melaka after the location in Malaysia where it was isolated in early 2006 from a human patient who showed signs of fever and acute respiratory illness. This is the only recorded case of the Melaka virus infecting a human.

Melaka virus is a type of reovirus (Respiratory Enteric Orphan viruses) that was first isolated in humans in the early 1950s and so named because they were not associated with any known disease. According to the leader of the CSIRO team, Dr Linfa Wang, although the symptoms were severe and persisted for four days, there is no evidence to suggest Melaka virus is fatal. The scientists at AAHL used scientific techniques including virology, serology, electron microscopy and molecular biology to establish whether the virus was a reovirus and if so, to what species group it belonged. “There are a number of different reovirus groups, however only two reoviruses have been isolated from bats in the past,” Dr Wang says.

Journal Article(s) of Interest

Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Infection of Cotton Rats [free full-text available]
Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Aug; [Epub ahead of print]
A Carrara et al.

Ecoregional Dominance in Spatial Distribution of Avian Influenza (H5N1)Outbreaks
Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Aug; [Epub ahead of print]
R Sengupta et al.

1 comment:


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