December 2, 2009


Desert reserve searches for cause of tortoise flu
Salt Lake Tribune -
25 Nov 2009
M Havnes
Photo credit: C Rognan

Location: St. George, Washington County, Utah, USA- Map It

Even desert tortoises get the flu.

A growing number of the animals in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve in St. George have contracted what is believed to be a bacteria that produces symptoms similar to the malady as it appears in humans, including runny noses.

In an effort to learn more about what biologists suspect is an upper respiratory tract disease, reserve officials got funding from the Washington County Commission to pay a veterinary pathologist to conduct necropsies (animal autopsies) on up to six sick tortoises. The illness isn't transferable to humans.

Gull Deaths on Gooseberry Island Linked to Virus
Northland Press -
01 Dec 2009
P Boblett

Location: Gooseberry Island, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA - Map It

The 2,200 plus birds that were found dead on and near Gooseberry Island on Pelican Lake in August died of circovirus, according to State Wildlife Veterinarian Erica Butler.

. . . Butler said during a phone interview last week that circovirus is a disease that decreases the immune system, which raises the possibility for secondary infections.

“We found salmonella, and there were different bacterial and fungal infections,” said Butler. “It took a long time to get results and the trouble was there wasn’t much in common, until we figured out the underlying cause. The birds technically died from other infections but the main cause was the circovirus.”

Bighorn sheep die-off worsens
Ravalli Republic -
01 Dec 2009
P Backus

Location: Ravalli County, Montana, USA - Map It

An outbreak of pneumonia in bighorn sheep from the East Fork Bitterroot herd worsened over the past week.

State wildlife biologists collected almost 30 infected bighorn sheep from the area south of Darby. Some of the infected animals were shot in an effort to slow the spread of the disease. Others were found already dead.

“Any hope for a moderate infection rate is waning,” said Craig Jourdonnais, the Bitterroot-based biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “I think we are in full blown die-off mode.”


Animal Tracking

Great Lakes News
Photo credit: N Michaels/Illinois River Biological Station

Huh, That's Interesting!


Browse complete Digest publication library here.

Emerging Infectious Diseases - December 2009
Volume 15, Number 12

Growth and development of tadpoles (Xenopus laevis) exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, fluoxetine and sertraline, throughout metamorphosis
Environ Toxicol Chem. 2009 Dec;28(12):2671-6. Epub 2009 Jul 2.
DE Conners et al.

Zero Prevalence of Influenza A Virus in Two Raptor Species by Standard Screening
Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2009 Oct 30. [Epub ahead of print]
G Gunnarsson et al.

Who infects whom? Social networks and tuberculosis transmission in wild meerkats
Proc Biol Sci. 2009 Nov 4. [Epub ahead of print]
JA Drewe

Puma predation on radiocollared and uncollared bighorn sheep
BMC Research Notes. 2009; 2:230
SM Clemenza et al.