September 5, 2007

Invasive Algae Killing Costa Rican Coral Reef
Reuters - posted by
29 Aug 2007
J McPhaul
Area: Costa Rica

A tropical algae thriving on fertilizers from hotel golf courses and badly treated sewage is killing one of Costa Rica's most important coastal reefs, scientists say. The green, feather-like algae is spreading along the reefs of Culebra Bay in Costa Rica's northwestern Gulf of Papagayo, a popular scuba diving spot and home to a rare species of coral. The algae blocks the sunlight and suffocates the reefs.

A tourism and construction boom along the palm tree-lined beaches is creating nitrogen- and phosphate-rich waste that feeds the algae, known as Caulerpa sertularioides, and Costa Rica is only just becoming aware of the problem. "It's an ecological disaster," said Cindy Fernandez, a marine biologist with the nonprofit MarViva Association, who alerted the Costa Rican government to the threat, which is now being taken on by the state-run University of Costa Rica.

No Fish Affected by Menacing Virus
The Citizen of Lacona -
04 Sep 2007
C Mitchell
Area: New Hampshire

With the news of a potentially menacing fish virus, known as the Largemouth Bass Virus, having been found in Lake Winnipesaukee less than a week ago, New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are reporting that, thus far, no fish they are aware of have died as a result of the contagion. The prognosis for the surrounding water bodies in the state looks good as well, with further testing in those areas showing no presence of the virus.

Detection of the virus came about when Fish and Game was conducting a tagging program through local fishing tournaments. The idea was to determine the migration patterns of Winnipesaukee's fish. Test results from a sampling of the fish revealed the presence of the Largemouth Bass Virus, or LMBV. It is a virus that can prove fatal to infected fish and had been seen only in the southern states prior to this.

Diagnosing Duck Deaths
Rocky Mountain News -
05 Sep 2007
JC Ensslin
Photo by G Kochaniec Jr
Area: Denver, CO

Wildlife and environmental officials said Tuesday they are almost sure that avian botulism is what has killed about 40 ducks found floating dead in Ferril Lake at City Park. "We're about 99.9 percent certain," said Ellen Dumm, a spokeswoman for the Denver Environmental Health Department. The Colorado Division of Wildlife is testing samples at its lab in Fort Collins taken from a dead duck to see if the birds were killed by avian influenza, said DOW spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.

Those results should be known by today, she said. She said other samples are being sent to an out-of-state lab to determine if the ducks died from avian botulism. Those results may take several weeks, she added.

Deer Virus Hits Harder
Ashland City Times -
05 Sep 2007
A Paine
Area: Tennessee

A chunk of the white-tail deer population could be lost because drought stress is making the species more vulnerable to a common malady called "epizootic hemorrhagic disease." The virus, spread by biting flies, afflicts deer but isn't transmitted to people or other animals. This year more deer are succumbing earlier. Deaths have been reported in at least 30 Tennessee counties, and more are coming.

"We can expect to see die-offs as high as 40 percent in some highly localized areas," said Roger Applegate, TWRA wildlife disease coordinator. Any reduction in deer numbers "will easily be made up within a couple of years," he said. "Nearly all the small streams are no longer flowing, unless there is a strong spring," said Kim Sparks, state environmental specialist with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.


S.C. Joins International Effort to Curb Rabies

Lawsuit Leads to Habitat Protection for Imperiled Ocean Species : Corals, Sawfish, and Green Sturgeon

Baiji Dolphin Previously Thought Extinct Spotted in Yangtze River

Chinese Demand Takes Toll on Wildlife in Burma (Myanmar)


Avian Influenza A Viruses in Birds of the Order Psittaciformes: Reports on Virus Isolations, Transmission Experiments and Vaccinations and Initial Studies on Innocuity and Efficacy of Oseltamivir in Ovo. [online abstract only]
Deutsche tierärztliche Wochenschrift. 2007 Jul; 114(7): 260-7.
EF Kaleta et al.

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