December 17, 2007

HK closes nature reserve after wild heron tests positive for bird flu -
15 Dec 2007
Area: Hong Kong

Hong Kong has ordered a local bird reserve closed starting Friday after a wild grey heron was found sick there and tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus. The Mai Po Nature Reserve, located at Lok Ma Chau near Hong Kong's border with the neighboring mainland city of Shenzhen, was "closed starting today until further notice," said a notification posted on the gate of the bird sanctuary Friday. The grey heron, a migratory species that often visits Hong Kong in winter but is not resident in the southern Chinese territory, was found sick on Dec. 5 at the wetland compensation area of the railway's Lok Ma Chau Spurline and died the next day.

Subsequent tests over the next few days confirmed that the wild bird was infected with H5N1 avian influenza, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) of the Hong Kong SAR government said a statement released late Thursday. A spokesman for the department said Hong Kong has decided to temporarily close the Mai Po Nature Reserve, which was far from Hong Kong's crowded downtown area. The move was "a precautionary measure," the spokesman was quoted as saying, adding that there were no chicken farms within 3 kilometers of where the bird was found.

Yellow fever, monkeys - Brazil (Goias): susp., RFI - Archive Number 20071217.4052
ProMED-mail -
13 Dec 2007
Area: Goias Brazil

Worried about deaths of monkeys in certain of [Goiania?s] green zones suspected of having contracted yellow fever, the Municipal Environmental Agency (AMMA) this morning (13 Dec [2007]) convened a meeting of municipal and state health representatives and wildlife protection and management authorities. They discussed measures that would be adopted in relation to infected wild animals which live in the green zones. They asserted that they will carry out monitoring in the localities where the dead macaques were found and provide an explanation to the local populace.

In Goiania [capital of Goias state. ? Mod.JW] in recent months, a female monkey was found dead in forested land on private property on the banks of the Joao Leite River. In a reserve within the Jardins Madri condominium 4 dead [monkeys] (3 females and an adult male) were found. In Vila Redencao, adjacent to the Botanical Garden, 3 adult monkeys died. The public health laboratory also indicated that it had initiated an investigation of vectors (transmitters of the virus) [it is not clear if they are speaking of mosquito vectors or of vertebrate hosts in this case. - Mod. TY] in the area of Santa Genoveva and the Condominio Jardins Madri.

Gruesome work keeps FWP on top of wildlife disease
Billings Gazette -
15 Dec 2007
M Stark
Area: United States

Technicians testing deer to see if chronic wasting disease is present in state

Leave your weak stomach at home if you visit Neil Anderson at work. The smell of dead animals is thick inside the examination room at the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks' wildlife laboratory. On one recent morning, an 83-pound dead wolf hung from a rope waiting for a necropsy near a heaping pile of mule deer heads to be tested for chronic wasting disease. "You can't be queasy," said Anderson, the lab's director.

But those who can handle it are on the front lines of tracking some of the biggest threats to Montana's wildlife: chronic wasting disease, avian flu, West Nile virus, bluetongue, brucellosis and other diseases. One or two decades ago, there was fairly short list of diseases affecting wildlife. Today, FWP is bustling with full- and part-time workers in the lab and in the field looking for a growing number of harmful bugs, viruses and diseases. Several factors are changing the dynamics of wildlife diseases.

Dead Dolphin Washes Ashore near KSC
14 Dec 2007
Area: Florida United States

A dead dolphin was found along the shoreline near Kennedy Space Center on Friday, making it the seventh death in the past three days. Another dolphin was also found dead in the same area on Thursday, and a second dolphin also washed ashore in New Smyrna Beach. A baby dolphin with its umbilical cord attached was found nearby. The baby dolphin was not added to the official total because it hadn't yet been born. A rescue effort also continued on Friday in the Mosquito Lagoon for two additional dolphins trapped there. It's not known if those dolphins are ill.

State targets wildlife trafficking
Montgomery Advertiser -
17 Dec 2007
M Rooney
Area: Alabama United States

Alabama's wildlife agency is wrapping up an 18-month long undercover operation targeting illegal wildlife trafficking that stretches as far north as Wisconsin. The effort resulted in dozens of arrests nationwide and the seizure of hundreds of foxes and coyotes. The animals were trapped live then sold in and out of state to outfits operating penned enclosures. The animals were used as quarry for hounds.

Dubbed Operation Foxoyte, the Alabama effort has netted 18 arrests. In Virginia, where the English style of chasing foxes on horseback is popular, the game department suspended 35 of the state's 41 foxhound training preserves. The crime goes beyond issues of animal cruelty -- it's also a danger to public health. Transporting animals across state lines, or even within different areas of the same state, can transmit disease to animals and to humans, game officials said.



The Wildlife Professional - Dec 2007
Volume 1, Issue 4
Table of Contents

Sindbis Virus Infection in Resident Birds, Migratory Birds, and Humans, Finland
Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Jan; [Epub ahead of print]
S. Kurkela et al.

Wild Bird Influenza Survey, Canada
Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Jan; [Epub ahead of print]
E.J. Parmley et al

Related Link
>>>CCWHC Wild Bird Influenza Survey (2005 - 2007 Result Reports)

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