November 21, 2007

Infectious Deer Disease Confirmed In County
The Fulton County News -
21 Nov 2007
C Rotz-Mountz
Area: Pennsylvania

Fulton County became the first county in the southcentral region of the state to receive positive test results confirming the presence of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in its wild, free-roaming whitetail population. Commonly known as EHD, epizootic hemorrhagic disease is a common infectious disease affecting deer found in the eastern section of the nation. It cannot be transferred to humans and only sporadically affects other animals.

The virus, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission officials, is “spread from animal to animal via biting midges living in or near water and wet, muddy areas. The midges transmit the virus as they feed.” To date this year, EHD has been confirmed in wild deer located in the Pennsylvania counties of Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland.

Bird Hunting Banned as Season Approaches
Arab News -
17 Nov 2007
M Rasooldeen
Area: Saudi Arabia

This year’s hunting season that begins on Dec. 20 will not include bird species, according to a statement from the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD). The decision is a measure to combat the spread of avian flu in the Kingdom. The Agriculture Ministry confirmed this past week that 50,000 birds were culled from a poultry farm near Riyadh after about 1,500 chickens on the farm had reportedly died from the virus. The move to ban bird hunting precedes the events at the farm.

Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, had issued a directive against bird hunting (often done with predatory falcons) following the death of a woman attributed to avian flu last year. The directive states that the Kingdom is free from H5N1 except for “sporadic incidents”. The recent announcement by the NCWCD is a reminder of the directive as the hunting season approaches. Under Saudi conservation law, only one mammal species can be legally hunted each season while licenses to hunt non-threatened bird species are usually allowed every hunting season.

Buzz is Mosquitoes May Get Refuge on Sanibel

The News-Press -
20 Nov 2007
K Lollar
Area: Sanibel

Policy change could prevent spraying to kill larvae

A proposed policy about how mosquitoes are to be treated on the country’s national wildlife refuges might cause some serious itching and scratching on Sanibel and the mainland. Then again, it might not. It all depends on the interpretation. A recently released draft of a mosquito management policy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that all national wildlife refuges, including the J.N. “Ding” Darling refuge on Sanibel, “will allow populations of native mosquito species to function unimpeded unless they cause a human and/or wildlife health threat.”

Currently, the Lee County Mosquito Control District sprays the refuge with Bti, a naturally occurring soil bacterium that kills mosquito larvae in the water before they can emerge as adults. “If we’re not allowed to use the larvicide, it would mean a tremendous amount of adult mosquitoes coming off,” district spokeswoman Shelly Redovan said. “Then we’d have to use adulticide over a huge area instead of larvicide in a confined space.

Sunbathing Tree Frogs' Future Under A Cloud
Science Daily -
20 Nov 2007
Area: Manchester
Photo courtesy of University of Manchester

Animal conservationists in Manchester are turning to physics to investigate whether global warming is responsible for killing sun-loving South American tree frogs. In a unique collaborative project, researchers in The Photon Science Institute (PSI) at The University of Manchester have joined forces with The Manchester Museum, which boasts an amazing collection of colourful tree frogs.

Physicist Dr Mark Dickinson, working with Andrew Gray, Curator of Herpetology at the museum, and Dr Richard Preziosi from The Faculty of Life Sciences, has started using a technique called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to investigate the properties of the tree frogs' skin. This non-invasive technique, which does not cause harm or distress to the frogs, allows images to be obtained from within tissue -- and the Manchester team believe this innovative application of OCT could hold the key to understanding the alarming global decline in amphibians.

Reported Wildlife Mortality Events to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center Updated
USGS National Wildlife Health Center
16 Nov 2007
Area: United States

USGS and a network of partners across the country work on documenting wildlife mortality events in order to provide timely and accurate information on locations, species and causes of death. This information was updated on May 31, 2007 on the USGS National Wildlife Health Center web page, New and Ongoing Wildlife Mortality Events Nationwide. Quarterly Mortality Reports are also available from this page. These reports go back to 1995.



Resistance to Chytridiomycosis Varies Among Amphibian Species and is
Correlated With Skin Peptide Defenses

Animal Conservation, 10 (4): 409-417 Nov 2007
DC Woodhams, et. al

Thermodependent Bacterial Pathogens and Mass Mortalities in Temperate
Benthic Communities: a New Case of Emerging Disease Linked to Climate

Global Change Biology, 13 (10): 2078-2088 Oct 2007
M Bally and J Garrabou

Evidence for an increasing presence of Echinococcus multilocularis in foxes
in The Netherlands

International Journal for Parasitology. 2007 Oct 12; [Epub ahead of print]
Takumi K et al.

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