December 16, 2009


A wildlife preserve cheetah becomes the first exotic animal with H1N1 in the US
Examiner -
12 Dec 2009
AC Strosahl
Photo courtesy of PlasticTV / Wikimedia Commons

Location: California, USA - Map It

A cheetah at the Safari West Wildlife Preserve in Santa Rosa, California, has become the first known exotic animal to contract the H1N1 virus in the United States. Safari West announced on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, that Gijima, an eight-year-old cheetah living at the preserve, was officially diagnosed with H1N1 after showing signs of a respiratory infection.

. . .Safari West is uncertain how Gijima became ill with H1N1. The wildlife preserve uses hygienic practices such as frequent hand washing, sterilization of food bowls and tools, and foot baths at the entrance of animal enclosures. Their website assures everyone, “The safety and well being of our animals, our staff members, and the public are our primary concerns.”

Wildlife Health Bulletin 2009-03 - Update on White-Nose Syndrome
USGS National Wildlife Health Center -
11 Dec 2009

. . . This Bulletin provides background about WNS, informs people about the Center’s preliminary laboratory findings, gives contact information for reporting cases, and provides information about NWHC submission guidelines for bat samples. A WNS National Plan is currently being developed jointly by a number of state and federal agencies; more information about the Plan will be forthcoming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also recently completed a summary of an exercise that used Structured Decision Making as a tool to evaluate WNS management options.

Related Bat News

How Arctic Food Webs Affect Mercury in Polar Bears
Science Daily -
14 Dec 2009
Photo courtesy of Science Daily

With growing concerns about the effects of global warming on polar bears, it's increasingly important to understand how other environmental threats, such as mercury pollution, are affecting these magnificent Arctic animals.

...Although that much is known, the details of how mercury moves through different food webs -- particularly in the Arctic, where snow and ice contribute to mercury deposition -- are not well understood. To tease out that information, Horton, Blum and co-workers studied polar bear hair samples from museum specimens collected in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, before mercury emissions from human-generated sources began to escalate.

Journal Cited

Record levels of toxic algae hurt coastline
USA Today -
14 Dec 2009
R Jervis
Photo courtesy of M Gibson/News Journal

Large swaths of toxic algae have punished U.S. coastal towns at record levels this year, shutting down shellfish harvests and sickening swimmers from Maine to Texas to Seattle.

The algal blooms stretch for hundreds of miles in some areas in a phenomenon known as "red tides" and give off toxins that sicken fish and birds and can cause paralysis in humans, said Wayne Litaker, a research scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The blooms have been getting increasingly larger and more toxic since 2004, causing an estimated $100 million a year in damage to the country's seafood and tourism industries, he said.

Photo courtesy of BBC News
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Characterization of duck H5N1 influenza viruses with differing pathogenicity in mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ducks
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Y Tang et al.

Unexpected heat resistance of Italian low-pathogenicity and high-pathogenicity avian influenza A viruses of H7 subtype to prolonged exposure at 37°C
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Salton Sea Ecosystem Monitoring Project

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report.2009; 2009-1276, 150 p. [full-text free pdf report available]
USGS Publication Warehouse - Western Ecological Research Center
AK Miles et al.

The Ecology of Parasite-Host Interactions at Montezuma Well National Monument, Arizona - Appreciating the Importance of Parasites
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1261, 56 p. [full-text free pdf report available]
USGS Publication Warehouse - Southwest Biological Science Center
C O'Brien and C van Riper III

A “One Health” Approach to Address Emerging Zoonoses: The HALI Project in Tanzania
PLoS Med. 2009; 6(12): e1000190. [free full-text available]
JAK Mazet et al.