November 15, 2007

Spill Puts Hundreds of Thousands of Migrating Birds at Risk
San Francisco Chronicle -
15 Nov 2007
J Kay
Area: California United States

As cleanup crews struggle to pick up the oil that ebbs and flows in San Francisco Bay, wildlife experts worry about the 1.6 million shorebirds and waterfowl that come here every winter like clockwork for the good food and the mild climate. Over the past week, since the Cosco Busan container ship hit the Bay Bridge and dumped 58,000 gallons of toxic bunker fuel oil into the bay, the deadly black goo has tarred thousands of birds and dozens of marine mammals. Fishing is shut down, and scientists are trying to assess the immediate and long-term effects of petroleum in a fragile ecosystem. Nearly 1,500 birds have been picked up dead or alive, including rare seabirds and coastal dwellers, tiny marbled murrelets and snowy plovers.

Yet thousands more birds and ducks have been splashed with globs of oil and rainbow sheen but remain in the wild where they will probably die, experts say. Birds that fly on farther south for the winter, yet stop on the popular Pacific Flyway to rest and eat, have moved on, carrying the contamination on their feathers. "The oiled birds are everywhere," said Rebecca Dmytryk, an International Bird Rescue Research Center worker on her way to plan a new capture of injured birds on Rodeo Beach in Marin County. "Some of these birds have had oil on them for a week, and they're dying," she said.

Windpower Turbines Killing Unsuspecting Nocturnal Songbirds, Bats
All Headline News -
14 Nov 2007
P Icamina
Area: United States

Songbirds and bats are the main victims of the propellers that power the turbines of electric-generating windmills, according to a new study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, the official publication of the Wildlife Society. Songbirds, half of them nocturnal, compose 78 percent of carcasses found at wind-energy facilities outside of California, said the study researchers. Recent monitoring studies indicate that utility-scale wind-energy facilities have killed considerably more bats than were expected based on earlier studies. Large numbers of bats have been killed at wind-energy facilities constructed along forested ridge tops in the eastern United States.

Too Soon to Blame Migrating Birds
EDP24 -
15 Nov 2007
E Dennis
Area: England United Kingdom

Wildlife experts said last night that it was too soon to “point the finger of blame” at migrating wild birds for the outbreak of deadly H5N1 avian flu at a Suffolk farm. A day after chief vet Fred Landeg suggested that wild birds could have brought the disease to East Anglia from continental Europe, they said that while it was possible that wild birds could be responsible for the outbreak, there was no evidence to support the theory. RSPB spokesman Ciaran Nelson said that he would have expected to have seen a trail of sick, injured or dying migrating birds across northern and eastern Europe if wild birds were the source of the outbreak at Park Farm, Redgrave, near Diss. Fears have been raised that turkeys at the farm may have become infected with the disease after being allowed to mingle with wild birds that gather at an ornamental lake which is part of the infected farm premises.

However, Mr Nelson said that he understood the birds at the lake were not migratory and stayed at the location all year round. Mr Nelson said: “It is much too early to point the finger of blame in any direction. That is not to say that it is not the case that the disease has come from wild birds, and we would be foolish to rule that out entirely. If we did that we would preclude a thorough investigation.”

Officials Eye 'Major' Rabies Outbreak South of Midland as Wildlife Closes into Town
Midland Reporter-Telegram -
15 Nov 2007
S Sissom
Area: Texas United States

Increasing numbers of wild animals wandering downtown and in residential areas have officials cautiously eyeing a major rabies outbreak in fox and coyote populations south of Midland and Ector Counties. They're dropping bait from helicopters in hopes coyotes will eat it and become vaccinated," Midland Director of Animal Services Paul Neill said of efforts by the Texas Department of Health Services. "Basically we're getting more wildlife calls, period," Neill explained of the situation in Midland. "The seasons are changing and with building going on around the perimeter of the city, they've either got to go out or come in."

Dr. Ken Waldrup, zoonosis control veterinarian for the Texas Department of Health Services, said Midland and Ector Counties are on the northern edge of a major rabies outbreak, and urges all pet owners to have their animals vaccinated. Neill said wild animals are moving into town right now in order to survive. "They're smart and doing what they need to do to survive, so when they're coming into the city to get food they're pretty desperate," he said, explaining that hungry wild animals also will rummage though garbage bins. "I've seen skunks walking around with their heads stuck in yogurt cups, and foxes are pretty much the same way."



Conservation Management of Tasmanian Devils in the Context of an Emerging,
Extinction-threatening Disease: Devil Facial Tumor Disease
[online abstract only]
EcoHealth. 2007 Sep; 4(3): 326-337
ME Jones et al.

Wild Deer as a Source of Infection for Livestock and Humans in the UK [online abstract only]
Veterinary Journal. 2007 Sep; 174(2): 260-276
M Bohm et al.

Peptides with Differential Cytolytic Activity from Skin Secretions of the
Lemur Leaf Frog Hylomantis lemur (Hylidae : Phyllomedusinae)
[online abstract only]
Toxicon. 2007 Sep 15; 50(4): 498-506. Epub 2007 May 3.
JM Conlon et al.

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