June 7, 2007

West Nile Virus Returns to Nevada
The Ely Times - elynews.com
6 Jun 2007
Area: Nevada, USA

A magpie from Fallon has opened this year's West Nile Virus (WNV) season. Swabs from the bird were submitted to the Nevada Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory (ADL) by a Nevada Department of Wildlife employee. This first finding of viral activity comes weeks earlier than in 2006. Last year the first positive bird was also a magpie from Churchill County which was tested on June 21st. One day earlier, on June 20th, 2006 a mosquito pool from Lyon Co. had been identified as the first positive specimen of Nevada's 2006 WNV season.

All of the more than 230 mosquito pools from several counties which have been tested at the ADL this year have been negative. Last year 153 of 2,620 mosquito pools and 43 of 125 birds submitted to the ADL tested positive, respectively. Donna Rise, Director, Nevada Department of Agriculture, stated, “Our Animal Disease & Food Safety Laboratory is one of the best in the western United States.” “We were set up for early sampling and are a little surprised the first Nevada positive was three weeks earlier than 2006,” she added.

Bird Feeding Precautions Urged in WA
The Associated Press (Posted by The Columbian - columbian.com)
7 Jun 2007
Area: Washington, USA

After reports of sick or dead birds at backyard feeders in Washington, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended that people temporarily discontinue bird feeding or take extra steps to keep their feeders clean. Veterinarian Kristin Mansfield advised for people to stop backyard bird feeding for at least a few weeks, if not for the remainder of the summer, to encourage birds to disperse and forage naturally.

She says laboratory analysis of bird carcasses has confirmed salmonellosis, a common and usually fatal bird disease caused by the salmonella bacteria. Mansfield says salmonellosis is probably the most common avian disease at feeders in the state, with the disease afflicting species such as finches, grosbeaks and pine siskins that flock together in large numbers at feeders. She says the birds transmit the disease through droppings.

Disease Hits Lake Michigan
Traverse City Record Eagle
7 Jun 2007
S McWhirter
Area: Wisconsin, USA

Deadly fish virus confirmed in Wisconsin trout

Wisconsin wildlife officials confirmed a deadly fish disease in Lake Michigan, while their Michigan counterparts are researching suspected diseased fish closer to home. Viral hemorrhagic septicemia was confirmed in a dead brown trout that washed ashore near the Kewaunee/Algoma area in Wisconsin. That marks the first discovery of the disease in Lake Michigan. Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials said they also have sent off some "suspect samples” for VHS testing at Michigan State University.

"It's part of the surveillance work going on since last fall,” said Gary Whelan, DNR fish production manager. The samples suspected of being contaminated with VHS came from northern areas of Lake Michigan like Green Bay, as well as southern sites near Arcadia in Manistee County and Grand Haven, Whelan said. "We don't know what the effect of VHS will be on our fish communities because no one has any experience with this disease and this isolate (genetic type of the disease) in fresh water.

State Seeks to Reduce Jackson Hole-area Bison, Elk Herds

The Billings Gazette - BillingsGazette.com
7 Jun 2007
W Royster
Area: Wyoming, USA

Agency plans to offer 100 bison tags this year, 82 to residents

In 1998, wildlife officials called for a bison hunt, but the Fund for Animals sued, saying the effects of feeding bison had not been analyzed. Bison in the area typically spend winters in feed lines on the refuge, separated from elk but fed. Reducing bison numbers will allow enhanced habitat for natural forage for elk, managers say. Recent versions of the federal plan have evolved to focus on disease issues, as congregated elk and bison -such as those in feed lines - spread disease more quickly.

The federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has been watching the issue closely, as northwest Wyoming is one of the country's last pockets of brucellosis, which can be transmitted to cattle. Brucellosis can cause ungulates to abort, and Wyoming lost its brucellosis-free status for livestock in 2004. It was restored last year. Lloyd Dorsey with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition said his organization appreciates the multiyear effort put toward healthy wildlife and habitat in Jackson Hole.

Other Wildlife Disease News

Rabies Found in Raccoons on Doorstep

Officials Seek to Determine Cases

Working With Wildlife: AWI Aims to Educate Students About Human, Animal Interaction

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