January 7, 2008

More deaths of rare Indian crocs
BBC News - news.bbc.co.uk
04 Jan 2008
Photo courtesy of Ajit Patnaik
Area: Madhya India

The number of endangered crocodiles that have died this month in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has risen to 67, officials say. The crocodiles, known as gharials, have been found dead of an unknown disease in the Chambal River sanctuary. One or two are washing up every day on the river banks, causing concern among wildlife officials and organisations. They are appealing for help and a team of international veterinarians is expected in the country soon.

Forest officials have collected water samples and conducted post-mortems on some of the reptiles. The results have shown that the deaths are the result of disease which is still to be identified. Last month one official said cirrhosis of the liver was the cause of the deaths. Tests were then carried out on the water for the presence of any liver-damaging toxins.

Uganda: Ebola Scare As Dead Monkeys Found in Bundibugyo
The Monitor (Posted by allafrica.com)
06 Jan 2008
S Ainganiza
Area: Bundibugyo Uganda

The discovery of eight dead monkeys in the Rwenzori National Park in Bundibugyo District has again caused more fears and tension among locals who are just coming to terms with the Ebola outbreak that ravaged the area and is said to have been brought to the area by infected monkeys. District leaders and the health workers are suspecting that the monkeys may have been suffering from another virus but are all the same carrying out investigations. In a meeting of medical experts with the district leaders held on Thursday at the district headquarters that was aimed at assessing and fighting the Ebola epidemic who epicenter has been here, it was noted that the monkeys and chimpanzees have certain blood viruses similar to those detected in human blood samples.

The investigations, however, will take congnisance of the fact that illegal hunting and killing of monkeys in the Mt Rwenzori ranges is going on uninterrupted. It was resolved that the district authorities of Bundibugyo with immediate effect and alert the Uganda Wildlife Authority to intervene since a good number of families living in the mountains are feeding monkey meat and putting their lives at risk. Meanwhile, on January 4 the Director General of Health Services, Dr Sam Zaramba issued a statement saying that the cumulative total of Ebola patients stands at 149 with 37 deaths.

Magnesium chloride eyed in duck deaths
CW2 Colorado - cw2.trb.com
05 Jan 2008
L Cipriano
Area: Colorado United States

Denver's ducks dying at an alarming rate again; Officials say road anti-ice formula could be the cause

More dead ducks have been found near Denver metro area wastewater plants. The die-off started last year and the Division of Wildlife has not been able to determine the cause, but there are some theories. There could be a link to the recent freezing temperatures. Last year, nearly 1,000 ducks died near wastewater treatment plants all along the front range. "We ruled all pathogenic disease forms out last year--botulism, avian influenza, all the normal pathological diseases that we see with large die offs," said Gary Mowad, Deputy Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Just last month, the ducks started dying again. It just happened to coincide with the first two snowfalls of the year, giving some credence to one of the working theories of what could be the cause. "We have looked at in the past and will continue to look at the possibility that magnesium chloride used to prevent ice on the roads, could be the causal agent," said Mowad. But there is no proof of that, as the root cause is still under investigation. "We don't want to be too quick to jump to judgment on mag chloride, but on the flipside, we can't rule it out," said Mowad. "We have to look at it."

Undiagnosed deaths, avian - USA: (NY) poison - Archive Number 20080106.0066
ProMED-mail - www.promedmail.org
04 Jan 2008
Area: New York United States

A total of 3 birds collected near a condominium complex on Staten Island were submitted to the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center and Anatomic Pathology. The birds were identified as grackles(_Quiscalus quiscula_). Generally, they were in good body condition with minimal lesions noted grossly. A small amount of corn and other material was detected within the ventriculus of each bird.

Officials dart elk: Project tests chronic wasting disease, new fertility drug
The Coloradoan - www.coloradoan.com
07 Jan 2008
M Blumhardt
Photo courtesy of M Blumhardt
Area: Colorado United States

Margaret Wild crouched behind a boulder, squinted down the rifle sight, then squeezed off a perfect shot in the hip that made the cow elk flinch before running off into the meadow. Several minutes later, the elk's legs were as wobbly as a drunk's until finally the animal crumpled to the ground and lay motionless on the edge of Moraine Park. "You never know how the elk will react,'' Wild said of the dart she just fired. "Sometimes it stings them and they run a ways; and other times they hardly feel a thing. "But most times they don't go more than 100 yards.''

Wild isn't one of the sharpshooters that, under the park's recently announced Elk and Vegetation Management Plan, will take aim at reducing the burgeoning elk herd by 100 to 200 animals annually over the next 20 years to reduce the damage on aspen and willow. Instead, she is a National Park Service veterinarian from Fort Collins who is helping lead a groundbreaking two-pronged study. One part of the project is to conduct, for the first time in free-ranging elk, live tests for chronic wasting disease, a fatal brain disease. Also, for the first time in free-ranging elk, the project will study the effectiveness of a multiyear fertility drug.

Image courtesy of the FWS Digital Library


National CWD Update - Jan. 4, 2008 [free full-text available - includes map and reference citations]

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal - Jan 2008
Vol 14, Issue 1

Dogs as Sources and Sentinels of Parasites in Humans and Wildlife, Northern Canada [free full-text available]
Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2008 Jan; 14(1): 60 - 63
A.L. Salb et al.

Types and quantities of leftover drugs entering the environment via disposal to sewage--revealed by coroner records [online abstract only]
Sci Total Environ. 2007 Dec 15; 388(1-3): 137-48. Epub 2007 Sep 20
IS Ruhoya and CG Daughton

Detection of Toxoplasma gondii-like oocysts in cat feces and estimates of the environmental oocyst burden [online abstract only]
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Dec 1; 231(11): 1676-84
HA Dabritz et al.

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