September 28, 2007

Disease Foils Kapiti Island Rare Bat Project
The Dominion Post (posted by
29 Sep 2007
Photo courtesy of Pukaha Mount Bruce

Twelve rare native short-tailed bats have been moved from Kapiti Island to Auckland Zoo after a mystery illness prevented them from settling on the island. The bats, aged between two and three, were part of the most ambitious conservation project undertaken anywhere in the world involving the relocation of native bats.

The Conservation Department moved pregnant females from Waiohine Valley, in Tararua Forest Park, to the Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre till they gave birth and weaned their pups. The pups were transferred to Kapiti Island but they developed a mysterious disease which caused their ears to decay, affecting their vital echo-locating abilities.

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Red Tide Could Take Bloom off Weekend
The Times-Union (Posted by
27 Sep 2007
D Bauerlein
Photo courtesy of

Football fans visiting the beach could face scratchy throats and irritated eyes.

Crimson Tide, meet Red Tide. Many of the thousands of college football fans coming to Jacksonville for Saturday's showdown between the University of Alabama and Florida State University will see how Mother Nature can ruin a weekend trip to an oceanside city.

Red tide, caused when an algal bloom produces a toxin that can affect the central nervous system of fish and cause respiratory distress in people, has appeared along the coast from Fernandina Beach to at least Ponte Vedra Beach and could spread. Thousands of dead fish have washed ashore and complaints of scratchy throats and irritated eyes have been increasing along the coast.

Cattle Disease Spreading to Ky. Herds
The Associated Press (Posted by
27 Sep 2007
B Schreiner

An insect-borne virus that has taken a toll on deer has spread to some cattle herds, presenting another problem for producers already struggling with a shortage of feed supplies, authorities said. Wade Northington, director of an animal diagnostic laboratory in western Kentucky, said Wednesday that epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, was detected by his lab in 20 to 30 cattle that died in recent weeks.

"A lot of people are very, very concerned," said agricultural extension agent Rick Greenwell in Washington County, where the virus is blamed for infecting some herds and killing several cattle. The disease, which cannot be contracted by humans, is spread to deer or cattle by gnats or flies. Horses do not appear to be susceptible to the virus, said Northington, director of the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville.

Avian Flu found on Sask. Poultry Farm
27 Sep 2007
Photo courtesy of

The fallout surrounding a Saskatchewan chicken farm with confirmed cases of avian flu should not be as devastating as a B.C. outbreak two years ago that caused the destruction of 17 million chickens, according to health officials. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said Thursday that the infected farm's relative isolation should allow for an effective quarantine.

"Certainly in B.C. there's a very concentrated area with large numbers of birds. In Saskatchewan, we have a smaller industry and it's spread over a larger geographic area, so we don't have the same density of poultry," Dr. Sandra Stephens, veterinary program specialist with the CFIA, told CTV Newsnet.

The recent Saskatchewan quarantine and the British Columbia outbreak were caused by the highly pathogenic H7N3 flu strain.

Related Article

McLaughlin Research Institute Grant Renewed
Great Falls Tribune Online
29 Sep 2007
JD Black

A McLaughlin Research Institute for Biomedical Sciences grant to study the genetics of prion susceptibility was renewed for five years — but at a lower amount. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke approved $7 million for the research. The award is 17 percent less than requested because of federal budget constraints, said George Carlson, the director of the institute.

Nevertheless, the research will help scientists understand why some livestock, wildlife and humans succumb to prion diseases that destroy the brain, such as mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.


Population Genetics of the Frog-killing Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
[free-text article]
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 21 Aug 2007; 104(34): 13845-13850
JAT Morgan et al.

Bovine Virus Diarrhea and the Vector-borne Diseases Anaplasmosis and Bluetongue: A Sero-surveillance in Free-ranging Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) in Selected Areas of Switzerland [online abstract only]
European Journal of Wildlife Research. 2007 Aug; 53(3): 226-230
C Koeppel et al.

Symbiotic Bacteria Contribute to Innate Immune Defenses of the Threatened Mountain Yellow-legged Frog, Rana muscosa [free-text article-pdf]
Biological Conservation. 2007 Sep; 138(3-4):390-398
DC Woodhams et al.

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