September 26, 2007

Avian Botulism Confirmed as Cause of Duck Deaths at Park
My Fox Colorado
25 Sep 2007
Area: Colorado, USA
Photo Courtesy of My Fox Colorado

About 100 ducks have died in City Park
Avian botulism caused the recent deaths of about 100 ducks in City Park according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife. They confirmed the findings Tuesday to the City & County of Denver.

Conditions in late August and early September typically can cause a sudden die-off of waterfowl, which has happened for several years. About a dozen of the ducks were taken to a bird sanctuary and recovered after they were treated for avian botulism.

Plague Strikes SD Prairie Dogs
The Associated Press (posted by Sioux City Journal)
26 Sep 2007
Area: South Dakota, USA

The prairie dog population in eastern Fall River County has been decimated, and officials believe the plague is responsible. Prairie dog deaths in the area make it less attractive for reintroduction of the endangered black-footed ferret, which preys on prairie dogs. However, plague still has not been found in Conata Basin near Badlands National Park, which is the site of the most successful black-footed ferret reintroduction in the nation.

Plague, known as sylvatic plague, first was confirmed in western South Dakota almost three years ago when a rancher found a sick prairie dog in extreme southwestern Custer County. After that, plague killed thousands of prairie dogs in a complex north of Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Until then, it had been decades since the plague was confirmed in South Dakota.

Eight New Herpes Viruses Discovered in Bats
25 Sep 2007

Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin and colleagues detected eight new herpes viruses in bats, seven gammaherpesviruses (GHV) and one novel beta herpes virus. The beta herpes virus appeared to be a distant relative of human cytomegalovirus. These novel viruses are the first herpes viruses to be described in bats.

IZW pathologist Dr. Gudrun Wibbelt says many of the bats that she dissected showed signs of pulmonary disease. She adds; "We cannot rule out that the newly detected herpes viruses are linked to diseases of the lung but we need further studies to clarify the role of these viruses." Asked if the pathogens may pose a threat to humans, the pathologist says: "Herpes viruses are very host-specific. They evolved closely with their host-species.

Crow Tests Positive for West Nile
25 Sep 2007
L Cole
Area: Canada

The Peterborough County-City Health Unit has confirmed one crow has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The health unit sent in three crows to the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre in Guelph on Sept. 17 for West Nile testing. All the crows were found in the City of Peterborough. The health unit received the results on Sept. 21, and learned that one of the birds tested positive for the virus.

This is the first bird that had the virus in Peterborough out of 44 crows submitted this year. The Ministry of Health has reported 73 crows have tested positive across the province in 2007. However, the health unit warns against thinking West Nile is a problem in Peterborough. There have been no human cases in Peterborough in 2007 and the health unit monitored mosquito ponds all summer finding no infected areas.


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Tools and Techniques for Disease Risk Assessment in Threatened Wildlife Conservation Programmes

International Zoo Yearbook 41 (1), 38–51, 2007
PS Miller

Anthropogenic Effects of Reservoir Construction on the Parasite Fauna of Aquatic Wildlife

EcoHealth [Epub ahead of print]
NJ Morley

Trypanosoma spp. Infection in Wild Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) During a Restocking Program in Southern Spain
Veterinary Parisitology [Epub ahead of print]
M Reglero, et. al

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