September 7, 2007

Virus Is Seen as Suspect in Death of Honeybees
The New York Times -
07 Sep 2007
AC Revkin
Photo by A Johannson

Scientists sifting genetic material from thriving and ailing bee colonies say a virus appears to be a prime suspect — but is unlikely to be the only culprit — in the mass die-offs of honeybees reported last fall and winter. The die-offs, in which adult bees typically vanished without returning to hives, were reported by about a fourth of the nation’s commercial beekeepers. The losses captured public attention as rumors swirled about causes, like climate change, cellphone signals and genetically-modified crops. Scientists have rejected those theories.

Now, one bee disease, called Israeli acute paralysis virus, seems strongly associated with the beekeeping operations that experienced big losses, a large research group has concluded, although members of the team emphasized that they had not proved the virus caused the die-offs. “I hope no one goes away with the idea that we’ve actually solved the problem,” said Jeffrey S. Pettis, an entomologist with the Department of Agriculture and co-director of a national group working on the puzzle, which has been given the name colony collapse disorder.

Raccoon Vaccinations Halt Spread of Rabies in Ohio
The Plain Dealer -
07 Sep 2007
J Horton
Area: Ohio, US

An extensive wildlife rabies vaccination program appears to have stonewalled the fast-advancing disease at Cleveland's doorstep, halting its potentially deadly march toward the Midwest, officials said. Some experts call the results "a public health success story" of national importance.

Researchers warned after rabies slipped into Ohio a decade ago that the virus could quickly sweep across the state in little more than three years without intervention. The disease spread unabated along the Eastern Seaboard after appearing on the border of Virginia and West Virginia in the mid-1970s.

Proper Disposal Of Cat Droppings Can Help Save Sea Otters
McClatchy-Tribune News Service (posted by
06 Sep 2007
Area: California, US

...According to Dr. Melissa Miller of the California Department of Fish and Game, cat feces can contain Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that gets into feline systems from eating infected rodents, birds or other small animals. When cats later expel these parasites in their droppings - sometimes hundreds of millions at a time - each can survive in soil for more than a year and also contaminate drinking water.

Most municipal sewage treatment systems are not designed to filter out Toxoplasma, and so the parasites also get into storm drains and sewage outflows that carry them out to near-shore ocean waters. Here, researchers have found, sea otters prey on mussels, crabs and other filter feeders that can harbor high concentrates of Toxoplasma.

Spill Kills Fish Across Four Miles of Elkhorn
Bluefield Daily Telegraph -
06 Sep 2007
C Owens
Area: West Virginia, US

Health officials in McDowell County were still working Thursday to determine the extent of a fish kill in the Elkhorn River following a tractor-trailer crash and large diesel spill on U.S. Route 52. The tractor-trailer crashed early Wednesday morning after approaching a curve and overturning on its side. The tanker on the tractor-trailer was ruptured in several spots losing an estimated 7,400 to 7,500 gallons of diesel, Cpl. L.S. Noe, of the county sheriff’s department, said.

Noe said officials with the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Resources were still working Thursday to determine the extent of the fish and aquatic wildlife kill.

6 Effects of Global Warming, Here and Now, in the U.S.
The Daily Green -
07 Sep 2007
D Shapley
Photo courtesy of AP

GAO Report: Federal Land Agencies Have Not Prioritized Climate Change

Droughts. Floods. Wildfires. Glacial melting. Sea level rise. Ocean acidification.

The results of greenhouse gas pollution are already being detected in the United States, the Government Accountability Office reported Thursday. And yet, the federal agencies responsible for watching over U.S. lands have not made climate change a priority — leaving national parks, forests and wildlife preserves vulnerable to the effects. The lack of attention leaves some of America’s most iconic and cherished landscapes, along with other unique landscapes and wildlife, at risk.


Social Networking Software Tracks Zebras and Consumers
Deadly Rabbit Disease on Rise
DMAP Turns 20


Is Vaccination Against Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Feasible? [free full-text avilable]
Revue Scientifique et Technique. 2007 Apr;26(1):243-51.
T Wisniewski et al.

Using Haematological Parameters to Infer the Health and Nutritional Status of an Endangered Black-necked Swan Population [online abstract only]
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 2007 Aug;147(4):1060-1066. Epub 2007 Mar 20.
P Artacho et al.

Molecular Identity and Heterogeneity of Trichomonad Parasites in a Closed Avian Population [online abstract only]
Infection, Genetics and Evolution. 2007 Jul;7(4):433-40. Epub 2007 Jan 16.
D Gaspar da Silva et al.

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