December 5, 2007

TPWD experts discuss bat issues
Palestine Herald-Press -
B Foley
05 Dec 2007

State wildlife biologists told approximately two dozen downtown property owners Monday that the best way to handle the city’s bat problem would be to seal their buildings against the flying rodents. Ricky Maxey, a wildlife diversity biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, along with TPWD wildlife biologists David Sierra and Aaron Flanders, described the type of habitat that Mexican free-tail bats prefer and discussed options for dealing with the approximately 70,000 bats estimated to live in the downtown area during an afternoon meeting of the Main Street
Advisory Board at city hall.

While the bats are known to eat insects, their urine leaves a distinctive odor and their droppings, or guano, can carry disease, the biologists said. “This is not going to be something that can be taken care of with a quick fix, because these colonies have developed over a number of years,” Maxey said. “The main action that needs to be taken to alleviate the problem in the buildings is exclusion. You can’t just go in there and kill all these
bats because they’re protected under law in Texas.”

Parasite puts more pandas at risk
USA Today -
S Sternberg
05 Dec 2007

A new natural enemy is preying upon China's shrinking population of wild
pandas, posing a "significant threat" to their survival, researchers say.

Stalked to near extinction by poachers and decimated by starvation, China's most beloved creatures are now also dying of a disease most likely caused by a roundworm called Baylisascaris schroederi, which can infect the brain and other vital organs.

"It's the most significant cause of death in the last decade, and it seems to be increasing," says study author Peter Daszak of the Consortium for Conservation Medicine, a collaboration of the Wildlife Trust and several universities focused on the interactions of humans, wildlife and
disease-causing organisms.

DNR sets late-month deer season
Grand Forks Herald -
05 Dec 2007
B Dokken
Area: Minnesota, USA

The Department of Natural Resources is of fering a special winter deer season near Skime, Minn., beginning late this month in an effort to further reduce deer populations in the core area of a bovine tuberculosis out break. The disease originated in a handful of cattle herds in the Skime area and later spread to nearby deer herds...According to Dr. Michelle Carstensen, wild life health program coordinator for the DNR, the upcoming special hunt comes on the heels of a fall testing campaign in which three deer, all adult bucks, tested "pre sumptive positive" for bovine TB.

The DNR collected tissue samples from more than 1,100 deer during an early antler less season and the regular ri fle season. All three of the infected deer came from the core area near Skime, where bovine TB first was found in a handful of cattle herds in 2005, Carsten sen said. Since then, the DNR has collected tissue samples from more than 3,000 deer in the Skime area. Test results confirmed 13 deer with the disease.

Heatwave is a hell for threatened bats [Article Preview]
New Scientist Environment -
04 Dec 2007
Area: Australia

It was a disastrous day for flying foxes. On 12 January 2002, at least 3500 of these fruit bats dropped dead from heat exhaustion as temperatures along Australia's eastern coast rose to almost 43 °C, some 14 °C higher than normal for that time of year. Stefan Klose of the University of Ulm in Germany and colleagues have been analysing the effects of extreme temperatures and the threat they pose to species survival.

They conclude that if warming continues unabated, grey-headed flying foxes and black flying foxes face extinction "this century" (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1385). "It is a striking experience to see the effects of climate change right in front of you, in the form of a dying vertebrate falling from a tree, along with thousands of others," he says.



Isolates of Zaire ebolavirus from wild apes reveal genetic lineage and
[online abstract only]
PNAS. 2007 Oct 23; 104(43): 17123-17127
TJ Wittmann et al.

Biological characters of bats in relation to natural reservoir of emerging
online abstract only]
Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases . 2007
Sep;30(5-6):357-74. Epub 2007 Aug 15.
T Omatsu et al.

Characterization of Low-Pathogenicity H5N1 Avian Influenza Viruses from
North America
[online abstract only]
Journal of Virology. 2007 Nov;81(21):11612-9. Epub 2007 Aug 29
E Spackman et al.

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