August 29, 2007

Rabbits Ravaged by Wet Summer
Western Morning News
28 Aug 2007
A Wright

This summer's wet weather has had devastating consequences for the country's rabbit population, providing the perfect breeding ground for myxomatosis. It is not only wild rabbits which are at risk from the killer disease. Thousands of pets have had to be put down as a result of the infection. The heavy rain in July, followed by warmer weather in August, has created conditions in which mosquitoes and fleas thrive. This is not just bad news for humans, as the blood-sucking insects also spread myxomatosis.

Myxomatosis is a naturally occurring virus which originated in South America and spread around the world after being introduced to control rabbit populations. Rabbits who catch the disease are likely to die a very unpleasant death. Rabbit Welfare Association spokesman Anne Mitchell said: "A lot of people think if they don't live in the countryside or near wild rabbits then their pets are safe, but they're not."

Bushmeat Hunters No Threat to Amazon Wildlife [Article Preview]
NewScientist Environment
28 August 2007

Fast-growing indigenous populations hunting for bushmeat inside national parks must be a huge threat to wildlife, right? Well, not necessarily. A study in Manu National Park, on the edge of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, has found "little or no evidence" that any of the most hunted species are in decline, despite a doubling of the numbers of the local Matsigenka tribe in the past two decades.

For years conservationists have warned that the thousand or so Matsigenka people living and hunting in Manu were taking too many birds and mammals, threatening the future of one of the world's richest wildlife reserves. In fact, nature is more resilient than that, say ecologist Julia Ohl-Schacherer and colleagues from the University of East Anglia in the UK.

Disease Changes How Fish are Raised
Vail Daily News
27 Aug 2007
Area: Colorado, USA
Photo Courtesy of Kara K. Pearson/Post Independent

Whirling disease was first discovered in Colorado in the late 1980s, Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery Manager Dave Capwell said. And even though the Colorado Division of Wildlife is still battling the disease in many waters around the state and nation, the Rifle hatchery has made gains in breeding a healthy stock of trout on the Western Slope. Around 2001, whirling disease was eradicated from the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery eradicated, Assistant Manager Mark Jimerson said.

One reason was a switch to using spring water rather than Rifle Creek water. “We isolated the spring water from Rifle Creek so that none of the contaminated creek water gets into the facility,” he said. The change ensured a clean water source to raise healthy fish crops. “A lot of hatcheries nationwide were affected by the disease,” Capwell said. “But today, we know for sure that the fish here are clean from everything.”

The Dirty Facts About Mining [Editorial]
28 Aug 2007

Uranium mining is associated with pollution of surface and groundwater with radionuclides, toxic heavy metals and more conventional pollutants. In fact, Environment Canada and Health Canada have determined that the effluent from uranium mines and mills meets the definition of a toxic substance for the purposes of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Uranium mining and milling operations are also associated with the release into the atmosphere of radionuclides, volatile organic compounds, smog and acid rain precursors, and greenhouse gases. Fish, wildlife and plants in the vicinity of uranium mines have been contaminated by radioactive materials, principally contained in wind-blown dust from mine sites, to the point of posting significant health risks to consumers of certain types of "country" food.


Warnings Over Spread of Bluetongue

Massive Cull Ordered After HSN1 Found

Foot-and-mouth's Lessons Learned

County Health Department Warns of Rabies Increase

Letter: Solution Offered for Brucellosis Problem [Editorial]


Specific Residues of the Influenza A Virus Hemagglutinin Viral RNA Are Important for Efficient Packaging into Budding Virions [online abstract only]
Journal of Virology, 2007 September, 81(18):9727-9736
GA Marsh, R Hatami, P Palese

The Prion Strain Phenomenon: Molecular Basis and Unprecedented Features

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Jun; 1772(6):681-91. Epub 2006 Dec 15.
R Morales, K Abid, C Soto

No comments: