October 18, 2007

Sickened Birds Recover, Fly Off in O.C.
CBS - cbs2.com
17 Oct 2007
Area: California United States

The illness that killed nearly three dozen sandpipers brought to the Huntington Beach Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center appears to have abated Tuesday, but its cause remains a mystery, officials said. Sightings of ill sanderlings and plovers were received at the Huntington Beach facility on Saturday -- several days after 39 sick and paralyzed birds were brought in -- but volunteers could not catch them because they were well enough to get away, said Debbie McGuire, a director of the center. "We haven't seen any new cases, and we haven't had any calls since Saturday," McGuire said. Of the 39 brought in, only four -- three sanderlings and a Western Snowy Plover -- survived, McGuire said.

Invasive Ticks, Elk Herds Tick Off Yukoners
CBS - cbc.ca
17 Oct 2007
Area: Alaska United States

Retired biologist suggests destroying all elk to save moose population

Yukoners at a public meeting Tuesday said the clock is ticking on saving the moose population from a pesky parasite — winter ticks discovered earlier this year in elk herds. Many at the forum to discuss the government's new elk management strategy also blamed the elk themselves for putting the indigenous moose at risk. "We're sitting on a time bomb. It's ticking," Grant Lortie, a retired Yukon government wildlife biologist, told the meeting. "I think it's the priority issue in the management plan."

In March, government wildlife biologists found winter ticks — also known as moose ticks or elk ticks — among 20 elk they captured. While they do not pose a risk to human or elk health, winter ticks can spread from elk to moose. Infected moose can lose hair and blood, and possibly die from emaciation and exposure due to hair loss. Michelle Oakley, an Environment Department wildlife veterinarian, said it does not appear the ticks have moved from elk to moose, but the fall is a prime time for that to happen.

Cold May Be behind Large Die-off of Fish in Sloan's Lake
Rocky Mountain News - rockymountainnews.com
18 Oct 2007
H Gutierrez
Area: Colorado United States

A large fish die-off at Sloan's Lake may be linked to cold weather killing algae, which leads to oxygen being absorbed from the water, authorities said Wednesday. While scores of dead fish were bobbing in the west Denver lake, catfish, crappie, coy, bluegill and perch were gasping on the lake's southwestern shore where an inlet from Edgewater releases fresh, oxygenated water. Such die-offs are natural seasonal events when abundant algae killed by a cold snap decompose and drift to the bottom of the shallow lake, absorbing oxygen, officials from Denver's Department of Environmental Health said. Samples from the lake are being tested, but so far officials don't believe the water was contaminated by a toxin, said Ellen Dumm, the city's environmental health communications director.

"It's a sizable die-off," Dumm said. Staff from the Colorado Division of Wildlife also scooped up a handful of dead fish and took them for testing to their fish lab in Brush, said Jennifer Churchill, the division's spokeswoman. The wildlife division is responsible for stocking the lake with fish. Maintenance workers for the city's Parks and Recreation Department were attempting to remove the dead fish, but by afternoon many remained in the lake uncollected.

Hemorrhagic Disease Outbreak in White-tailed Deer Continues in Maryland [Press Release]
Maryland Department of Natural Resources - dnr.state.md.us
17 Oct 2007
Area: Maryland United States

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters that Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) has been confirmed in Maryland and is the likely cause of death of white-tailed deer reported from numerous counties across the state. EHD is a naturally occurring disease that affects white-tailed deer and, rarely, domestic livestock. The disease poses no threat to humans. EHD is common throughout the eastern United States and outbreaks occur annually in Maryland at differing degrees. The disease is often, but not always, fatal to deer. This year confirmed or suspected cases of EHD have been documented in counties on the Eastern Shore, central and southern Maryland, and as far west as Allegany County.

The disease has also been reported in the neighboring states of Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. EHD should not be confused with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal disease of deer that has not been found in Maryland to date. EHD typically occurs from mid-August through October and is caused by a virus that is transmitted to deer through the bite of tiny flying midges (“no-see-ums”). EHD is not transmitted by direct contact between deer and cannot be spread to humans. Humans are not at risk of being bitten by infected midges or from handling or eating the meat of affected deer.



Development of Methodology to Prioritise Wildlife Pathogens for Surveillance [online abstract only]
Prev Vet Med. 2007 Sep 14; 81(1-3): 194-210
J McKenzie et al.

Suppurative Polyarthritis in Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) from Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Detection of Mycoplasma DNA [online abstract only]
J Zoo Wildl Med. 2007 Sep; 38(3): 388-99
LM Ganley-Leal et al.

Diseases in Hungarian Goose and Duck Flocks Caused by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Strain (H5N1 subtype) [free full-text available]
Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja. 2007 Jul; 129 (7): 387-399
E Ivanics et al.

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