December 24, 2007

Oil spill disaster aftermath: A seabird struggles for survival
Marin Independent Journal -
22 Dec 2007
J Staats
Photo courtesy of IJ photo/Jeff Vendsel
Area: California United States

A gangly, charcoal-gray bird squirms on a table. It is poked and prodded by veterinarians and volunteers. Its body is coated in toxic oil. The team surrounds the bird, one of the 1,083 rescued in the oil-slicked wake of the Cosco Busan container ship. The bird's wings are checked, its feathers plucked for study. Its black, webbed foot gets stuck with a needle, and its blood pours into a clear syringe.

Finally, a volunteer wearing purple latex gloves grabs its neck and pulls a wing back. Another volunteer with a camera snaps a quick mug shot of the green-eyed bird, now outfitted with band No. Y79. For Vinnie, a double-crested cormorant found struggling in Marin County on Nov. 13, this is the beginning of a 15-day odyssey. "They can't be washed right away," said Greg Massey, a veterinarian at the Oiled Wildlife Care Network's bird rescue center in Cordelia. "They could die from the stress. It's a long process for these birds and requires a lot of expertise."

Possibly rabid fox that bit five in Boynton Beach captured
Boca Raton News -
21 Dec 2007
DM King
Area: Florida United States

The Palm Beach County Health Department reports that a possibly rabid Florida fox that bit a child and four adults in the area near Seacrest Boulevard and SW 23rd Street in Boynton Beach has been captured by county Animal Care & Control. Persons in the area had spotted the animal on several occasions, but it eluded Animal Care & Control officers and Boynton Beach police, said Health Department spokesman Tim O’Connor. It was caught about 3:30 p.m. Dec. 19, he said. The Health Department said the fox jumped over a fence and bit a child playing in the yard of a daycare center. All those who were bitten are being treated with a six-shot series to stave off rabies.

The captured animal will be tested in the Florida Department of Health lab in Lantana. At this time, said O’Connor, all persons are being advised to avoid any wildlife and report any suspicious animals to Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200. O’Connor said rabies is a viral disease that can be prevented but not cured. The virus attacks the nerves and brain tissue of warm-blooded animals, including humans.


Related News

Novel Virus Identified In Endangered Species May Represent Evolution Of Two Major Virus Families
American Society for Microbiology (Posted by
21 Dec 2007
Area: Australia

The near extinction of the western barred bandicoot has led to the identification of a novel virus exhibiting characteristics of two ancient virus families. The western barred bandicoot (WWB), an Australian marsupial once commonly found across western and southern Australia, is now endangered throughout parts of the country and already extinct on the mainland. While promoting conservation efforts, researchers discovered a debilitating disease affecting the species causing full body lesions.

Papillomaviruses (PVs) and polyomaviruses (PyVs) are known to infect human, mammalian, and avian species. They were previously considered subunits of the Papovaviridae family, however they are currently recognized as two separate virus families due to significantly different genome sizes and organizations. In the study researchers from Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, and the University of Leuven, Belgium analyzed skin swabs taken from the lesions of infected WWBs and identified a novel virus exhibiting properties of both the Papillomaviridae and Polyomaviridae family.

Shot down: Wildlife commission says “no thanks” to snipers as elk control
The Daily Sentinel -
22 Dec 2007
D Buchanan
Area: Colorado United States

A plan to control elk herds in Rocky Mountain National Park that might include snipers equipped with night-vision goggles has received a hearty thumbs-down from the Colorado Wildlife Commission. During its meeting last week in Denver, the commission roundly booed the National Park Service’s preferred alternatives in its “Elk and Vegetation Management Plan” for Rocky Mountain National Park. Of five possible alternatives, including a “no action” plan, RMNP officials on Dec. 10 announced they have opted for alternative three, which would rely on “authorized agents” to cull up to 200 elk per year, reducing the current 3,000 or so elk now to about 1,600 to 2,100 animals.

The 20-year, $6-million plan says the “agents” would come from other federal agencies, volunteers and private contractors. Opponents of the plan say those agents could come in the form of sharpshooters sneaking around at night, plugging unsuspecting elk with rifles equipped with silencers. Because of the limited harvest, the park’s plan also includes other methods of population control, including birth-control drugs and maybe, just maybe, the “adaptive use of wolves as a management tool.” Overabundant elk numbers have destroyed many of the park’s aspen stands and willow patches that elk and other wildlife species need for survival.

Trial bison vaccinations could start this winter
Jackson Hole Daily -
24 Dec 2007
C Hatch
Photo by Steve Maslowski courtesy FWS
Area: Wyoming United States

Wyoming Game and Fish wildlife managers say they could start vaccinating a small number of bison as soon as this winter to reduce brucellosis in the local herd. The Game and Fish Department released a new brucellosis management plan for the bison herd last week. Part of that plan includes inoculating bison with RB-51, a vaccine that has shown mixed results in experimental tests. At a meeting Dec. 19, Game and Fish brucellosis biologist John Henningsen said wildlife managers would watch vaccination efforts in Yellowstone before initiating a program in Jackson Hole.

“We’re probably not going to implement it on a full scale right away,” he said. However, Henningsen said officials are considering a small experimental vaccination program this year. He said officials haven’t decided on the details of the operation. “The recent [studies] have suggested that RB-51 is effective enough to justify its use,” Henningsen said. Game and Fish Regional Wildlife Supervisor Bernie Holz said any vaccinations implemented this winter would be delivered in a syringe dart, not a “bio-bullet” or through a capture and hand-innoculation program like some previous efforts in Yellowstone.



Spread of chytridiomycosis has caused the rapid global decline and extinction of frogs [online abstract only]
EcoHealth. 2007 Apr; 4(2): 125-134
LF Skerratt et al.

The importance of parasite life history and host density in predicting the impact of infections in red deer [online abstract only]
Oecologia. 2007 Mar; 152(4): 655-664
J Vicente et al.

Phylogenetic concordance analysis shows an emerging pathogen is novel and endemic [online abstract only]
Ecology Letters. 2007 Nov; 10 (11): 1075–1083
A Storfer et al.

No comments: