November 13, 2007

Biology Students Study Mutated Amphibians
News 8 Austin -
13 Nov 2007
Area: Texas United States

At night, when most of us are watching TV, a few curious minds are outside gathering information about the global decline in amphibian populations. Texas Parks and Wildlife, biology professor Ben Pierce and his students as part of the Texas Amphibian Watch. They go out one night a week from 7 p.m. - midnight and listed to frog calls. The data Pierce and his students collect may help determine what is causing a decline in amphibians worldwide.

The data Pierce and his students collect may help determine what is causing a decline in amphibians worldwide. "It all started back in 1989 when scientists at a conference started comparing notes and finding out that they were seeing really alarming decreases in amphibian populations," Lee Ann Linam of Texas Parks & Wildlife said. In the mid-90s, frogs began appearing with many malformations, such as extra legs, eyes or missing limbs. Texas scientists wondered if it was a global phenomenon.

Illegal Hunt Sting Nets 18 Arrests
The Decatur Daily -
13 Nov 2007
H Hollman
Area: Alabama United States

Wisconsin man charged with transporting animals to state; claims he made wrong turn

Authorities have charged a Wisconsin man for allegedly bringing foxes to Limestone County for hunting, but the man claims he made a wrong turn and ended up in the wrong state. He was one of 18 people arrested Saturday as part of "Operation Foxote." The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division served arrest warrants in 14 counties for the illegal trade, importation and possession of live foxes, coyotes and other wildlife. According to Limestone County Sheriff's Department reports, Harold Paul Widder, 53, of Antigo, Wis., faces 12 counts of illegal transport of game animals. He is out of jail on $12,000 bond.

Widder denied trafficking in wild animals and said "everything got out of hand." "These were not wild animals or anything. These are ranch-raised animals," Widder said. "I just made a wrong turn and wound up in the wrong state." The state conservation office in Tanner and the Limestone County Courthouse were closed for Veterans Day, and information was not available about where the alleged hunt was to take place.

Chronic Wasting Turns Up in Lovell-area Deer
The Associated Press (Posted by
12 Nov 2007
Area: Wyoming United States

A white-tailed deer killed by a hunter west of Lovell has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says it's the first occurrence of chronic wasting disease in that area. Chronic wasting disease is a deadly neurological disease that occurs in elk and deer. The disease has been spreading eastward and westward since it first appeared in southern Wyoming and in Colorado a few decades ago.

Florida Red Tides Linked To Mississippi River Nutrient Outflow
NOAA (Posted by
09 Nov 2007
Area: United States

A new NOAA research model indicates nutrients flowing from the Mississippi River may stimulate harmful algal blooms to grow on the continental shelf off the west coast of Florida. The peer-reviewed hypothesis is being published in a special issue on Florida red tide in the journal "Continental Shelf Research." According to the model, algal blooms form on the Florida coast because of weather and gulf currents. The algae grows offshore, supplied with additional nutrients that appear to have originated from the Mississippi River, in a process driven by normal seasonal wind patterns.

"We found that the concentrations of nutrients needed to start the Florida red tides is much lower than previously suspected," said NOAA oceanographer and lead author of the paper, Richard Stumpf, Ph.D. "The hypothesis means that offshore areas should be examined for both small increases in nutrients and modest concentrations of the algae at the start of the bloom season." Harmful algal blooms occur in the waters of almost every U.S. coastal state, caused by numerous different species. Their direct economic effects in the United States are estimated to average $75 million annually, including public health costs, commercial fishing closures, recreation and tourism losses, and in management and monitoring costs.

Soap Chemical Stops Fish Sticking Together
New Scientist Environment -
24 Oct 2007
C Brahic

A contaminant found in rivers and estuaries the world over can "rob" fish of their ability to sense each other and stay in a tight, cohesive shoal, say researchers. The chemical, 4-nonylphenol, does this by overpowering the fish's natural smell-signatures, say researchers. And because these signatures are critical to helping the fish form in groups, the chemical effectively weakens their "strength in numbers" defence against predators. "The loss of the ability to shoal cohesively is serious business for fish.

It's a defensive strategy. If fish can't shoal properly, they are extremely vulnerable to predation," says Ashley Ward at the University of Sydney, Australia, who led the study. Nonylphenol or 4-NP is widely used in soaps, sewage treatment, and in some pesticides. They are known to affect human and animal hormonal systems, and can "feminise" fish, causing males to produce typically female proteins.



Impacts of Global Warming on Wildlife - Lewis & Clark Law School Podcasts
Animal Law Conference
N Greenwald and K Haddad

Journal of Wildlife Management - November 2007
Volume 71, Issue 8

The Prevalence of Beak and Feather Disease Virus Infection in Wild Populations of Parrots and Cockatoos in New Zealand [online abstract only]
N Z Vet J. 2007 Oct; 55(5): 235-8
HJ Henning HJ et al.

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