June 20, 2007

FWC Searches For Cause of East Coast Seabird Die-Off
19 Jun 2007
W Quigley
Area: Florida, USA
Photo Courtesy of Central Florida News

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has received reports of more than 200 dead or sick greater shearwaters, a gull-like bird, since Saturday along Florida’s east coast. The birds have been found from Hobe Sound in Martin County to South Ponte Vedra Beach in St. Johns County. Local wildlife rehabilitators report receiving numerous emaciated and dehydrated birds as well.

FWC biologists are examining the dead birds to investigate the cause of this die-off.
Researchers with FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute are calling the die-off of birds significant and have collected some of the birds for testing. Initial necropsy results are not definitive; however, preliminary findings indicate starvation during the migration process played a role. Additional test results are pending.

Anthrax Case In Government Zoo
The Times of India
20 Jun 2006
Area: India

A hyena has been found to be suffering from the deadly anthrax disease at Nandanvan Zoo on the city's outskirts, leading to the zoo's closure for 15 days. "All symptoms of anthrax were found in one of the hyenas at the zoo on Tuesday," a forest department official said on Wednesday. After the wild animal was found to be suffering from the disease, the zoo has been closed for 15 days.

Anthrax is a highly fatal disease caused by a spore-forming bacterium called `Bacillus Anthracis.' Forest department officials have decided to vaccinate animals within the five km radius of Nandanvan to contain the disease, the official said.
When contacted, Raipur Range DFO Sunil Mishra said they are in touch with the Wildlife Institute of India on the matter.

Rabies Confirmed In Coyote That Attacked Woman
19 Jun 2007
Area: Colorado, USA

A coyote from Prowers County has tested positive for rabies, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Tuesday, the first case in Colorado in at least 30 years. Health department officials said the coyote was shot and killed after it attacked a woman last Friday. The 87-year-old woman bitten by the coyote is undergoing preventative rabies treatment, health officials said. Prowers County Public Health Department has placed a public health alert order requiring dogs and cats in the county to be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations, officials said.

Under Colorado law, licensed veterinarians must administer rabies vaccinations to pets. Brain tissue from the coyote is being sent to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control laboratory for typing of the rabies strain, officials said. The CDC lab has tests that can tell if a rabies strain is from a bat, skunk, Mexican dog or other animal, giving a clue as to how the coyote was infected.

West Nile Virus Threatens Backyard Birds
Science Daily
17 May 2007
Photo Courtesy of iStockphoto/Robert Yoder

Scientists at the Consortium for Conservation Medicine (CCM), based at Wildlife Trust, New York, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Migratory Bird Center report in an article appearing in Nature that many species of birds, including backyard favorites such as tufted titmice and chickadees, are suffering serious declines from West Nile virus.The arrival of West Nile virus in New York City in 1999 was accompanied by an unusual die-off of crows and other birds at the Bronx Zoo.

Dead corvids (crows and jays) were then reported across New York and heralded the virus’ spread throughout North America over the next eight years. However, scientists and backyard birders wondered whether the disease had a more significant impact – decimating populations, or just a few individuals. Its subsequent spread and continued transmission throughout North America have resulted in over 26,000 reported cases, 996 human deaths, and an estimated 280,000 illnesses, making it the most important mosquito-borne disease in the USA.

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