October 4, 2007

New Suspect Identified in West Nile Deaths of Pelicans
Montana State University (Posted by sciencedaily.com)
03 Oct 2007
Photo courtesy of Greg Johnson
Area: Montana USA

Stable flies are the latest suspect that may be involved in the West Nile virus deaths of hundreds of pelican chicks at the Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Montana. West Nile virus killed 800 to 1,000 pelican chicks in 2003, averaged 400 in each of the next three summers and more than 600 this year. Veterinary entomologist Greg Johnson of Montana State University said earlier this year that he considered the possibility that lice were transmitting West Nile virus to pelicans. He became suspicious after collecting very few mosquitoes in 2006, but seeing pelicans continue to die at a high rate.

Johnson discovered previously that the Culex tarsalis mosquito is the primary carrier of West Nile virus in Montana and that the Medicine Lake refuge was one of the hot spots for the virus. Many of the dead pelicans at Medicine Lake had lice crawling inside and outside of their beak, Johnson continued. Mike Rabenberg, deputy refuge manager, said external parasites -- especially pouch lice and feather lice -- are common on the Medicine Lake pelicans. The lice may be more prevalent, he said, on pelicans that are sick or weakened.

Moosehorn Refuge Awaits Bird Influenza Test Results
Bangor Daily News - bangornews.com
04 Oct 2007
D Graettinger
Photos courtesy of Jill Barschdorf
Area: Maine United States

Federal officials still are awaiting the results of an avian influenza test conducted on Canada geese at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. But if last year’s test is any indication there doesn’t appear to be any problems, Refuge manager Bill Kolodnicki said Wednesday. As part of their annual goose roundup, federal officials sampled for the disease again in June of this year; it is those results they are waiting for. "[The test] is part of our partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Fish and Wildlife Service.

Every refuge has a plan to monitor for avian influenza," he said. "It is the way the Fish and Wildlife Service is attempting to check the spread of that disease in the wildlife population." Viruses cause avian influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s Web site. "These influenza viruses occur naturally among birds," the Web site added.

Pigeon Poison Pinpointed: Bird Deaths Perplex Gardner, until Pest Control Revealed
Worcester Telegram & Gazette - telegram.com
03 Oct 2007
DM Williamson
Photo courtesy of Rick Cinclair
Area: Massachusetts United States

Unaware that a pest control company had been hired to rid pooping pigeons from downtown rooftops, city officials and residents were startled this summer to discover dozens of the birds stumbling around disoriented, flying into buildings, and lying dead in parking lots. “There was a huge rise in calls regarding pigeons dropping from the sky,” said Deputy Police Chief Rock Barrieau, who closed a criminal investigation into pigeon poisoning after learning this week that the birds were legally fed chemicals. “It caused some alarm.” Waltham Services, a pest and termite control company, was hired by Graves Law Office, Holy Rosary Church, Heywood Wakefield Place and the library to get rid of pigeons on the properties. The company has permits from the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife to put chemically treated corn on rooftops.

. . . A permit from the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife allows companies to place a mixture of harmless and chemically treated corn onto pigeon-populated rooftops. After ingesting the bait, the pigeons emit signals of distress to the rest of their flock, which ideally flies away. “Usually, they’ll flop around and look like they’re inebriated,” said Richard C. Berman, technical manager for Waltham Services. “They look like they’re in pain, but they’re really not. The reason you get mortality, especially when you start a program, is you may have hungry or ill birds that might get a few extra kernels.” Some of the affected birds prompted health officials and police to worry about virus and disease.

Deer Disease found in 15 Counties; Has Spread to Cattle
The Associated Press (Posted by wdbj7.com)
03 Oct 2007
Area: West Virginia United States

West Virginia officials say an insect-borne virus that's killed hundreds of deer has now spread to farm animals. Assistant State Veterinarian Gary Kinder said today that cattle on three farms in Mineral County have tested positive for epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD. The disease had not been found in West Virginia cattle since 1993. In addition to West Virginia, EHD has been confirmed this year in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and Indiana.



The CNS glycoprotein Shadoo Has PrPC-like Protective Properties and Displays Reduced Levels in Prion Infections [free full-text available]
The EMBO Journal. 2007 Aug; 26(16): 4038–4050
JC Watts et al.

Risk of Ectoparasitism and Genetic Diversity in a Wild Lesser Kestrel Population [only abstract only]
Molecular Ecology. 2007 Sep; 16(17): 3712-3720
J Ortego et al.

Serosurveillance for Selected Infectious Disease Agents in Wild Boars (Sus scrofa) and Outdoor Pigs in Switzerland [only abstract only]
European Journal of Wildlife Research. 2007 Aug; 53(3): 1612-4642 (Print) 1439-0574 (Online)
C. Köppel et al.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Terry S. Singeltary, Bacliff, Texas

Link to 'Book of Abstracts' from the Prion2007 Conference on September 26-28, 2007 held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.