August 13, 2007

Lions Face Extinction
The New Vision -
10 Aug 2007
J Thawite
Area: Uganda Africa

Uganda lions face extinction unless urgent measures are taken, the Wildlife Disease Association (WDA) Africa and the Middle East section have warned. Chaired by Dr. Zahoor Kashmiri, WDA disclosed that the number of lions left in the entire country was less than 1,000. In the Queen Elizabeth National Park, the lion population has slipped from 94 in 1999 to 39 today. It would take 20 years to undo the damage done over the past 15 months, experts say. The association sounded the warning at its 5th conference that ended at Hotel Margherita, Kasese district, on Tuesday.

In a paper titled Impact of diseases on population viability of lions in Murchison National Park, Margaret Driciru, Ludwig Siefert, Christine Dranzoa and Michael Ocaido said lions were found in only three out of the 10 national parks. “The current world population estimate is 23,000 to 39,000 lions, with less than 1,000 in Uganda,” they said. Though the rate of decline in Uganda is unknown, the researchers believe it is dramatic and may irreversible. “The lion populations are under intense pressure from trans-humanism, land use conflicts, pastoralism, enclaves within the protected area and diseases,” they noted.

Bubonic Plaque Found in Flagstaff Wildlife
The Associated Press (Posted by
11 Aug 2007
Area: Flagstaff, AZ USA

Health officials in Coconino County say they've found bubonic plague in wild animals in a Flagstaff suburb. They're warning people to avoid contact with wild animals and to treat their pets for fleas. Two prairie dogs were found dead last month in Doney Park northeast of the city. A lab at Northern Arizona University confirmed the presence of the disease after testing fleas found in the animals' borrows.

Rising Bird Deaths in Argyle Park a Mystery
Newsday -
10 Aug 2007
B Bain
Area: New York USA

The dead birds began showing up around Argyle Lake about two weeks ago. A mallard here, a Canada goose there, even a swan. Now the toll has reached more than 20, Babylon Village officials say. Mayor Ralph Scordino said the village is not sure why the birds are dying. The Suffolk SPCA said preliminary indications point toward avian botulism, a paralytic disease produced by decaying matter such as old bread, which many people continue to feed the ducks despite warning signs telling them not to.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has tested one duck brought in by the village and is awaiting results to confirm whether botulism was present, DEC spokeswoman Aphrodite Montalvo said. In the meantime, park lovers and village officials are searching for answers. "I don't know why they're dying," said Charles Gardner, superintendent of the village's public works department. People who frequent Argyle Lake began calling Scordino's office two weeks ago and reported seeing as many as four dead fowl a day, officials said.

Monitoring of Migratory Birds in View of Risk of Avian Influenza [Press Release]
Press Information Bureau - Government of India -
12 Aug 2007
Area: India

In the light of recent outbreak of avian influenza in Manipur, specific steps have been suggested by the ministry of Environment and Forests to monitor the migratory birds. All Chief Wildlife Wardens have been requested to step up surveillance and monitoring of any possible emergency arising out of the arrival of migratory birds in their respective states.

Bass Virus Found at Crawford
The Wichita Eagle -
12 Aug 2007
M Pearce
Area: Kansas USA

Biologists have found a virus within largemouth bass at Crawford State Fishing Lake. A decline in bass within the 150-acre lake led to testing for the disease appropriately called largemouth bass virus. Kansas is the 18th state to confirm the virus that was first discovered in Florida in 1991. Often fatal to largemouths, the disease has never been known to pass on to humans. The appearance of the virus at Crawford is especially troubling because it's the water source for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Park's Farlington Fish Hatchery.

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