August 30, 2007

Deer Fatalities Increasing Because of EHD
Central Kentucky News-Journal -
29 Aug 2007
P Junker
Photo courtesy of P Junker
Area: United States

Wildlife officials in at least six states, including Kentucky, report people are finding considerable numbers of dead deer. Apparently the deaths are being caused by an outbreak of a deadly virus. The virus, called EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease), seems to occur every few years in white-tailed deer, and is not infectious to humans. However, it may mean hunters in some areas will see fewer deer during the upcoming hunting seasons.

People in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee have been finding dead deer or animals in a weakened and emaciated state near water. In Kentucky most of the reports have been coming from west or central Kentucky, although by last weekend infected deer had been found in at least 30 counties in the state. EHD is caused by a virus and outbreaks seem to occur every two or three years in this part of the country. It occurs more often in the south and less frequently in northern states.

Scientists Detect Dead Zone Off Oregon Coast for Sixth Straight Year (Posted by
01 Sep 2007
Area: Oregon USA

A team of Oregon State University scientists monitoring near-shore ocean conditions off Oregon says that oxygen levels in the lower water column have plummeted, thrusting the region into a hypoxic event for the sixth consecutive year. Hypoxia can lead to significant marine die-offs, the researchers say, depending on the severity, duration and location of the low-oxygen zone. Although conditions this summer have not yet duplicated the severity of the historic hypoxic event of 2006, the outlook for the remainder of the summer and early fall is uncertain. Measurements taken by the OSU scientists in late June mirrored those of last year, but a shift to a southerly wind pattern in mid-July pushed the mass of low-oxygen water away from the shoreline.

. . . During the next two months, strong upwelling-favorable winds persisted, fueling massive phytoplankton blooms, which eventually died and sank to the bottom, leading to some of the lowest oxygen levels ever recorded and killing a variety of marine life off the Pacific coast. For the first time, some areas of the ocean actually ran out of oxygen altogether, the researchers said. "The 2006 situation was not only the strongest, most widespread hypoxia event yet seen off the Pacific Coast - it also was the most long-lasting," Chan said. "The oxygen levels were off the charts and they continued through the end of October. "We have seen nothing to suggest that conditions this summer will be any different," Chan added. "In fact, it is eerily similar to last year."

Ticked off: Lyme-infected Ticks Are Spreading to More Populated Areas of Wisconsin
The Journal Times -
29 Aug 2007
D Steinkraus
Area: Wisconsin USA

When his annual health report revealed that President George W. Bush had been treated for Lyme disease last year, it was enough to spark the usual media follow-ups telling people what the disease is and where it’s most common. What those stories didn’t mention was what has happened here in Wisconsin that puts people in this corner of the state at greater risk. During the last several years, pockets of Lyme-infected ticks have sprung up in parts of the state, including southeastern Wisconsin. This is not the usual pattern. Usually the disease has spread from area of the state to an adjacent part as deer and ticks have migrated naturally.

But one pockets popped up about a decade ago in Marinette County, probably an incursion by some ticks from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, said Jim Kazmierczak, public health veterinarian with the state Division of Health. And last year, some infected deer ticks were collected from plants around Lake Geneva. “Obviously that’s a big resort area so there’s some public health significance.” In 2005 or ’06, some ticks were found in Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan County. For several years there has also been a pocket known around Palmyra and the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Tourism Bid Turned Down
The Press (Posted by
29 Aug 2007
W Gamble
Area: New Zealand

A plan to fly tourists into the Stephens Island tuatara sanctuary in Marlborough has been rejected because of increased disease risks. However, Nelson-based Tuatara Maori Ltd, part-owned by local iwi Ngati Koata, will appeal against the Department of Conservation (DOC) decision, saying it is "unnecessarily conservative". The company wanted to fly in 56 tourists a year – paying about $2000 each – to the nature reserve for guided four-hour tours. There would be a maximum of four tourists with two guides. The company modified its proposal so tuataras would only be observed, not touched.

. . . DOC Nelson-Marlborough conservator Neil Clifton, who made the decision, said yesterday Tuatara Maori had a comprehensive biosecurity plan, but no system could eliminate the risks to the rare and irreplaceable species. Diseases such as salmonella could devastate the tuatara population, and a fungal disease posed a similar threat to the rare frogs. Both could be inadvertently brought onto the island by visitors. Tuatara Maori managing director Dion Paul said the company was shocked by the decision because DOC field officers had accepted the proposal two years ago.

SCWDS Briefs [PDF]
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study
07 Jul 2007

Table of Contents:
  • SCWDS History Continued: The CapChur GunSCWDS Honored
  • More Interesting HD Events from 2006
  • Fever Ticks
  • Ehrlichia in White-tailed Deer
  • Meningeal Worms in Sika Deer
  • The Devils’ Disease
  • Recent SCWDS Publications Available


State Wants Wild Pig Sightings Reported

County Health Department Warns of Rabies Increase

State Panel Reviewing Rules on Game Farms


Rates and Causes of Mortality in Endangered African Wild Dogs Lycaon pictus: Lessons for Management and Monitoring [online abstract only]
ORYX. 2007 Apr; 41 (2): 215-223
R Woodroffe et al.

Raptor Mortality Due to West Nile Virus in the United States, 2002 [free full-text available]
Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 2007 Apr; 43(2): 206-213
EK Saito et al.

Rabies in Vaccinated Raccoons from Ontario, Canada [free full-text available]
Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 2007 Apr; 43(2): 300-301
R Rosatte et al.

No comments: