December 21, 2007

Pregnant Bottlenose dolphin found dead on Cornish beach
Wildlife -
Dec 2007
Area: England, Cornwall, Lizard Peninsula

Much to the concern of researchers monitoring cetaceans in Cornwall, the body of another rare dolphin has washed ashore on the Lizard. The female bottlenose dolphin measured around 3.2m in length and weighed 370 kg. She was carrying a female calf 80 cm long, weighing 6.2 kg.

. . . It's quite possible that the dolphin stranded alive, but there was no obvious cause of her death. However, she was only in moderate nutritional condition, which often indicates disease, and this, together with the extremely bad weather at the time, may have resulted in her stranding. We'll have to wait for the full post mortem test results to come through before we can be more certain.’

Waterfowl undergo tests for fatal strain of avian flu: Monitoring is part of national, international efforts
Worcester Telegram & Gazette-
20 Dec 2007
MJ Hill
Area: United States

More than two dozen waterfowl in town received a surprise lab test on Tuesday, when federal workers netted the birds to take samples to see if any of them have a deadly strain of avian flu. Wild birds in all 50 states are being monitored, and information from the samples feeds into an international effort to watch for transmission of the strain, said Monte D. Chandler of the Wildlife Services Program for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The H5N1 strain of avian flu has not yet been found in the United States, Mr. Chandler said.

“Of the few avian influenza viruses that have crossed the species barrier to infect humans, H5N1 has caused the largest number of detected cases of severe disease and death in humans,” according to the Web site for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To capture the birds, a weighted net is discharged with the use of something similar to a blank charge, Mr. Chandler said. Birds are then collected and swabs are taken of samples to be tested later for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, he said. The birds are released afterward, he said.

Putting Wildlife Disease News on the Map! - Global Wildlife Disease News Map [news release]
Wildlife Disease Information Node -
20 Dec 2007

The Wildlife Disease Information Node (WDIN) is pleased to announce the release of a new
map tool, Global Wildlife Disease News Map. The last 45 days of Wildlife Disease News
Digest articles are displayed on a map based on their geographical location. This allows you
to see the news happening both in your area and worldwide.

Radio collars invaluable in understanding wildlife
Worcester Telegram & Gazette -
21 Dec 2007

Targeted by researchers early in life during a 1997 aerial hunt in Myles Standish State Forest in Brewster, a young doe was fitted with a leather radio collar. . . In many respects, she was the grand dam of a cadre of wildlife — deer, bear, moose, eagles, falcons, waterfowl, and more — that carries some mechanism that reports data to state biologists or that can be visually tracked by them. They are the lifeblood of the state’s wildlife management system; the information they feed to humans drives the quotas, rules, and regulations of hunting and fishing. Most importantly, the data helps us all understand wildlife a little better.

. . . National bird-banding programs have shown that global warming has caused some ducks to stay farther and farther north, while they have also shown that other waterfowl, such as the long-tail duck migrate across continents — from Alaska to Cape Cod — and not necessarily north to south, having possible implications in the spread of avian influenza and other diseases, according to O’Shea. Data gleaned from the banding of non-hunted birds such as eagles and falcons provides data that helps biologists understand whether recovery programs are working and how behavior changes as populations re-establish and mature . . .

State adds fish advisory for selenium
Charleston the Gazette -
21 Dec 2007
Area: West Virginia

West Virginia regulators have begun warning state residents not to eat fish from certain waterways because of high levels of selenium pollution. The state Bureau for Public Health recommended that anglers limit themselves to one meal per month of any sport fish caught from Mount Storm Lake in Grant County, Upper Mud Lake in Lincoln County and Pinnacle Creek in Wyoming County.

Agency officials announced the move on Wednesday, after reviewing new fish sample data and consulting with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Natural Resources. The selenium warning was among several changes that were announced in the state’s long list of fish consumption advisories.

Photo courtesy of Science Daily


Experimental evidence of competitive release in sympatric carnivores [only abstract only]
Biology Letters. 2007 Dec [epub ahead of print
ID Trewby et al.
Related to the BBC News article, Badger culls 'boost fox numbers', posted to the Digest on Dec 19, 2007.

Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Potential Contributions to the Emergence, Reemergence and Spread of Infectious Disease [presentations available]
Conference hosted by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Dec 4-5, 2007, Washington DC, USA

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