November 25, 2009


Due to the Thanksgiving holiday,
no Digest entries will be posted Thursday, November 24 or Friday, November 25. Posts will resume Monday, November 30.

China moves to protect pandas from swine flu
Associated Press -
24 Nov 2009

A panda research center in northwestern China has been closed to visitors as a precaution to protect the endangered species from catching swine flu, state media reported on Tuesday.

It is not known if pandas can catch swine flu, but there have been reports from veterinary and federal officials in the United States of cats and ferrets catching the disease.

Cold temperatures and heavy snowfall over the last week at the Shaanxi Wild Animal Rescue and Research Center in Shaanxi province have increased flu symptoms and the number of H1N1 cases among zoo employees, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

War on pigeons ends up killing grackles

The Record -
24 Nov 2009
J Bautista

Location: Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA - Map It

A campaign to get rid of pesky pigeons "went wrong" on Monday when about 30 dead black birds known as grackles were found on some streets and around Borough Hall, a health official said.

"What happened is tragic," Health Officer Steven Wielkotz said. "The last thing we wanted to do is kill any birds."

The grackles apparently ate Avitrol, bird seeds that were meant for more than 100 pigeons who descended on the borough two months ago.

Ivory coast: ravens did not die from high path AI
Vetsweb - (Source: OIE)
24 Nov 2009
Photo courtesy of Vetsweb

Location: Cocody, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

In October, the ag authorities of Ivory Coast reported that thirty wild white-necked ravens were found dead on a secondary school ground in Abidjan.

Nine birds tested positive on the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1.

However, tests conducted by the OIE reference lab in Padova do not confirm H5N1 infection.

Temporary cave closure to protect bats
Harrison Daily Times -
24 Nov 2009
National Park Service

To help stop the spread of the Geomyces sp. fungus suspected to be the causative agent of White Nose Syndrome which is fatal to bats, all Buffalo National River caves are closed to recreational caving until further notice with the exception of [some cited caves].

. . . According to park Geologist Chuck Bitting, Buffalo National River is one of the most cave-rich units of the National Park System with more 360 documented caves.

The caves of Buffalo National River contain three species of bat on the Federal Endangered Species List, as well as four bat species which are not listed.

Swimmers, Hoppers and Fliers: How Do Toxic Chemicals Move around the Planet?
Scientific American -
23 Nov 2009
E Grossman
Photo courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration

Even hundreds of miles from the nearest industrial or agricultural activity, the sea ice, ocean, and Arctic plants and animals regularly yield evidence of elemental and synthetic chemical contamination.

This contamination includes not only herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides—chemicals that are used in open air, may have washed directly into rivers or are released from factories—but also metals, among them mercury as well as flame retardants and water repellants, among other substances that are, at least in theory, incorporated into the materials of the products they’re designed to enhance.

. . . These same compounds are now being detected in animals and people all over the world.

Photo credit: R Mcleroy/AP
Deer News
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Browse complete Digest publication library here.

Avian influenza virus: Of virus and bird ecology
Vaccine. Oct 23 2009; 27(45): 6340-6344
VJ Munster et al.

Preserving pathogens for wildlife conservation: a case for action on amphibian declines
Oryx. 2009 Oct; 43(4): 527-529
J Voyles et al.

Blame Apportioning and the Emergence of Zoonoses over the Last 25 Years
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 2009 Oct 07; 56(1-2): 375 - 379
SB Cáceres and MJ Otte

Exposure and effects assessment of persistent organohalogen contaminants in arctic wildlife and fis
Sci Total Environ. 2009 Nov 10. [Epub ahead of print]
RJ Letcher et al.

First isolation of an H1N1 avian influenza virus from wild terrestrial non-migratory birds in Argentina
Virology. 2009 Nov 5. [Epub ahead of print]
P Alvarez et al.

Assessment of Contaminant Exposure and Effects on Ospreys Nesting along the Lower Duwamish River, Washington, 2006-07
USGS Report Number 2009-1255 [pdf available for download]
BL Johnson et al.