May 28, 2009

TOP STORIES

Announcing the Release of the Kestrel Watch - An On-line Sight Reporting System
University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Raptor Center
Photo credit: Larry Allen

Across the world, citizens are helping scientists monitor changes in the environment and wildlife populations by becoming astute observers. Networks of these citizen volunteers help research scientists gather large volumes of information that they otherwise would not be able to collect. Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count, which began in 1900, is the longest running citizen science project known. This spring, The Raptor Center is launching its own citizen science project called Kestrel Watch.

For more information about this new citizen science project or to access the on-line report form visit the Kestrel Watch website.




Landfill methane towers scorch perched hawks
Google News - www.google.com/hostednews (Source: Associated Press)
25 May 2009
M Esch
Photo coutesy - AP Photo/Hoo's Woods Raptor Center, Dianne Moller
Area: United States

A towering landfill smokestack offers an irresistible perch for raptors to watch for rodents scavenging in the treeless landscape below. But when flames fed by landfill gas rush upward, the birds are being scorched or burned alive.

At the urging of wildlife rehabilitators, the solid-waste industry is starting to investigate where birds may be at risk and ways to protect them — such as welding deterrent spikes atop smokestacks and providing alternative perches.

It's unclear how widespread the problem is, but suffering or dead birds have been reported in recent years in New York, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Illinois.




Honey Bee Colony Losses In U.S. Almost 30 Percent From All Causes From September 2008 To April 2009
ScienceDaily - www.sciencedaily.com (Source: USDA/Agricultural Research Service)
22 May 2009
Photo credit: Jeff Pettis, ARS
Area: United States

Honey bee colony losses nationwide were approximately 29 percent from all causes from September 2008 to April 2009, according to a survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This is less than the overall losses of about 36 percent from 2007 to 2008, and about 32 percent from 2006 to 2007, that have been reported in similar surveys.

"While the drop in losses is encouraging, losses of this magnitude are economically unsustainable for commercial beekeeping," said Jeff Pettis, research leader of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.




Dead boreal owls were starving, not sickly
Daily-Newsminer - newsminer.com
21 May 2009
T Mowry
Area: Fairbanks, Alaska, USA - Map It

The reason boreal owls were dropping dead at an alarming rate in Fairbanks this spring isn’t because they were eating sick redpolls infected with salmonella; it’s because they weren’t eating anything at all.

Test results on a half-dozen dead boreal owls that were sent to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., showed that the birds were emaciated, not sick.

“They were all essentially starving,” said Susan Sharbaugh, senior biologist at the Alaska Bird Observatory.





Whirling disease researchers optimistic about Montana's trout
Montana State University - www.montana.edu
E Boswell
20 May 2009
Photo credit: MSU photo by Kelly Gorham
Area: Montana, United States

Whirling disease now infects about 150 streams across Montana, but researchers say they are still optimistic about the future of trout fishing in the state.

One of the most promising developments, they say, is the discovery of wild rainbow trout that are naturally resistant to whirling disease. Another is the mysterious rebound of rainbow trout in the Madison River, the first Montana river where whirling disease was discovered.

"There's hope," said Montana State University ecologist Billie Kerans. "There's some hope for the trout in Montana. Not all drainages have responded the same way to whirling disease."




TOP READ LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

News
  1. Veterinarians at high risk for viral, bacterial infections from animals
  2. Death adders eat fatal meal
  3. Disease leads to steep decline in New Jersey bat population
  4. Calif. condor deaths shows lead still a problem
  5. Dead deer give up secrets about species
  6. The Colours of Southern Africa: the wildlife photography of Hannes Lochner
  7. Infected Sea Otters [video]
  8. Save Birds by Promoting Wind Energy
  9. Dragonflies face uncertain future
  10. Shore birds in decline

Publications
  1. Incidence of Hemorrhagic Disease in White-Tailed Deer Is Associated with Winter and Summer Climatic Conditions
  2. The importance of disease management programmes for wildlife conservation
  3. Prevalence of Chlamydophila psittaci in wild birds—potential risk for domestic poultry, pet birds, and public health?


WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
Photo credit: Frank Kazukaitis/National Geographic News

May 27, 2009

TOP STORIES

Jeepers Creepers! Climate Change Threatens Endangered Honeycreepers
USGS Newsroom - www.usgs.gov/newsroom
26 May 2009
Photo credit: USGS
Area: Hawaii, United States

As climate change causes temperatures to increase in Hawaii’s mountains, deadly non-native bird diseases will likely also creep up the mountains, invading most of the last disease-free refuges for honeycreepers – a group of endangered and remarkable birds.

A just-published U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) review discusses the likelihood of a forthcoming “disease invasion” by examining the present altitudinal range of avian malaria and pox, honeycreeper distribution, and the future projected range of diseases and honeycreeper habitat with climate change.

At one time, the Hawaiian Islands had no mosquitoes – and no mosquito-borne diseases. But, by the late 1800s, mosquitoes had set up permanent housekeeping, setting the stage for epidemic transmission of avian malaria and pox. Honeycreepers – just like people faced with novel viruses such as swine flu – had no natural resistance against these diseases.




Study ties pollution to strandings of marine mammals
SouthCoastToday - www.southcoasttoday.com
26 May 2009
D Fraser
Area: Massachusetts, United States

The Cape is one of the top areas in the world for marine mammal strandings. Animals are sometimes loaded with parasites or are sick. But, despite a long history of polluting the coastal waters, the toll it takes on sea creatures has been harder to establish.

Eric Montie, a University of South Florida scientist who did most of his research while a doctoral student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, believes he may have found one link between coastal pollution and brain development in marine mammals that may explain why some animals wash ashore.

In a recently published study in the journal Environmental Pollution, Montie showed how dangerous man-made contaminants were able to bond with a thyroid hormone and make it into the brains of marine mammals.



Other Marine Mammal News
>>>5 Dolphins Found Dead Off SoCal Coast - Santa Rosa Island, Santa Barbara County, California, USA - Map It
>>>'Foul play' blamed for Kauai monk seal death
>>>Sea Lion Rescue



Reported Wildlife Mortality Events to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center Updated
USGS National Wildlife Health Center
26 May 2009
Area: United States

USGS and a network of partners across the country work on documenting wildlife mortality events in order to provide timely and accurate information on locations, species and causes of death. This information was updated on May 21, 2009 on the USGS National Wildlife Health Center web page, New and Ongoing Wildlife Mortality Events Nationwide. Quarterly Mortality Reports are also available from this page. These reports go back to 1995.




Scientists find deadly fungus in Luzon
BusinessMirror - businessmirror.com.ph
21 May 2009
J Mayuga
Photo courtesy: AFP
Area: Luzon, Philippines - Map It

SCIENTISTS conducting frog surveys in two areas in Luzon have discovered a deadly fungus that could send amphibians—particularly frogs—to extinction.

The discovery of the chytrid fungus has prompted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to sound the alarm, and DENR Secretary Lito Atienza has ordered the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) to formulate a national strategy for monitoring frog populations throughout the country.

“We cannot discount the possibility that global warming is promoting the spread of this fungus because according to studies, rising temperature allows it to enter places where these amphibians reside,” Atienza said.



WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
Photo credit: Guardian News

White Nose Syndrome



WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED PUBLICATIONS
Browse complete Digest publications library here.

Avian influenza surveillance in wild birds in the European Union in 2006.
Influenza Other Respi Viruses. 2009 Jan;3(1):1-14.Links
U Hesterberg et al.

Genetic variability of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in wild ruminants from Italy and Scotland.
J Vet Sci. 2009 Jun;10(2):115-20
S Peletto et al.

Avian Pathology - May 2009
Volume 38, Issue 3

Review of the Diagnosis and Study of Tuberculosis in Non-Bovine Wildlife Species Using Immunological Methods
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 2009; [Epub ahead of print]
MA Chambers

May 26, 2009

TOP STORIES

Heat-tolerant Coral Reefs Discovered: May Survive Global Warming
Science Daily - sciencedaily.com
22 May 2009
Image Credit: Tom Oliver

Experts say that more than half of the world's coral reefs could disappear in the next 50 years, in large part because of higher ocean temperatures caused by climate change. But now Stanford University scientists have found evidence that some coral reefs are adapting and may actually survive global warming.




Death by Rubber: Global amphibian declines have scientists and volunteers scrambling to preserve backyard biodiversity
Scienceline - www.scienceline.com
22 May 2009
Image Credit: Lindsay Konkel

A ghostly procession of ten volunteers clad in orange safety vests and cellophane-covered headlamps shuffles down the middle of a lonely wooded road in northwestern New Jersey, each staring intently at their feet. It’s a damp March night and the temperature is hovering around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These hardy workers are looking for frogs and salamanders to count.



Caves close as bats continue to die from mysterious disease
Lexington Herald-Leader - kentucky.com
23 May 2009
Area: Northeastern USA

Stay out of caves. That's the message from the U.S. Forest Service, and even caver organizations, as bats continue to die from a mysterious disease called white-nose syndrome. On Thursday, the Forest Service closed all caves in national forests in the southeast for a year. That includes the Daniel Boone National Forest, which has an estimated 1,000 caves. "The closures will allow scientists and land managers time to work together and stop the fungus, learn how it spreads and how to best address it," said Liz Agpaoa, the forester in charge of the region that stretches from Oklahoma to Virginia and Florida.



Contagious cancer threatens future of devils
CNN - cnn.com
22 May 2009
Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Area: Australia

Australia's iconic Tasmanian devil -- widely known as trouble in Looney Tunes cartoons -- has been put on the country's endangered list, environmental officials announced Friday.





OTHER WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS

May 22, 2009

TOP STORIES

Death adders eat fatal meal
Science Alert - www.sciencealert.com.au (Source: University of Sydney)
20 May 2009
Photo credit: iStockphoto
Area: Australia

One of Australia's most famous (and unpopular) native predators, the death adder, is actually playing a role in its own downfall.

Unlike most Australian snakes, death adders don't wander around searching for their prey - instead, they lie in ambush and wriggle their tail-tip in the air so that the tip looks like a small grub or worm. A frog or lizard that sees the wriggling tail will rush across to grab a tasty meal - and find a hungry snake instead, so likely will end up as the snake's dinner.

Professor Rick Shine and his colleagues Dr Mattias Hagman and Dr Ben Phillips noticed that death adder numbers plummeted after cane toads invaded their study site near Darwin. The scientists wondered why so they set up trials with captive snakes, and found that the death adders had fallen into an "evolutionary trap".




Fish kill cause remains a mystery
BaldwinCountynow.com - www.baldwincountynow.com
15 May 2009
C Chapman
Area: Baldwin County, Alabama, USA - Map It

The cause of a widespread fish kill has not yet been determined by Auburn University researchers, according to Kevin Anson, a biologist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Marine Resources Division.

“The (initial) test results were inconclusive,” he said Friday. “They will continue to incubate culture material and have an answer sometime next week. It’s unusual, but it’s happened before.”

Rotting fish have been accumulating on Eastern Shore beaches from Village Point Park in Daphne to Bon Secour over the last couple of weeks, and scientists are puzzled. So far, more than 1,000 hardhead catfish and a handful of other species have washed up dead.




National HPAI Early Detection Data System (HEDDS) Update
NBII Wildlife Disease Information Node
19 May 2009
Area: United States

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Early Detection Data System (HEDDS) is an avian influenza data sharing repository. NBII and a network of partners across the nation have created HEDDS to hold data from different surveillance strategies and to provide a comprehensive view of national sampling efforts.

Recent HEDDS Activity
  • May 15, 2009: 15 samples and tests were added to HEDDS for 2009. Total is now 250.
  • May 15, 2009: 53 samples and tests were added to HEDDS for 2009. Total is now 235.
  • May 7, 2009: 14 samples and tests were added to HEDDS for 2009. Total is now 182.



OTHER WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
Photo credit: Jeff Foott/Discovery Channel Images/Getty


WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED PUBLICATIONS

Browse complete Digest publications library here.

Active Surveillance for Avian Influenza Virus Infection in Wild Birds by Analysis of Avian Fecal Samples from the Environment

Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 2009 Apr; 45(2): 512-518
G Pannwitz et al.

A terrestrial animal-borne video system for large mammals
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 2009 May; 66(2):133-139
RJ Moll et al.
The Auk 126(2):278-287. 2009

Sex and Age-Specific Annual Survival in a Neotropical Migratory Songbird, the Purple Martin (Progne subis) [West Nile virus]
The Auk. 2009; 126(2):278-287
BJM Stutchbury et al.

May 21, 2009

TOP STORIES

Designer Antibodies Derail Monkey AIDS Virus
ScienceNOW Daily News - sciencenow.sciencemag.org
18 May 2009
J Cohen
Photo credit: Malcolm Linton

Researchers are reporting that a new antiviral strategy powerfully protects monkeys from SIV, the simian cousin of HIV. The approach combines elements of vaccines and gene therapy, and experts say the development could eventually lead to a vaccinelike weapon against AIDS--a goal that has thus far proved elusive.

Vaccines work by priming the "adaptive" immune system to recognize and attack a specific invader. But despite 2 decades of research, several potential AIDS vaccines have failed to teach the immune system to produce antibodies that can stop HIV.

Still, some progress has been made: Researchers have isolated a handful of antibodies from HIV-infected humans that stymie HIV in test-tube studies. Intensive efforts have attempted to find the proteins or peptides that could teach the immune system to produce these powerful antibodies, yet none has made progress.




Growth Industry: Honeybee Numbers Expand Worldwide as U.S. Decline Continues
Scientific American - www.scientificamerican.com
18 May 2009
K Harmon
Photo credit: Flickr/Cygnus921

Even as U.S. honeybee populations have been hit hard by colony collapse disorder in recent years, domesticated beehives have been thriving elsewhere.

In an analysis of nearly 50 years of data on bees from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, researchers found that domesticated honeybee populations have increased about 45 percent, thanks in large part to expansion of the bees into areas such as South America, eastern Asia and Africa. The results appear in the latest issue Current Biology.

The overall increase, however, is not what surprised Marcelo Aizen, a professor at the National University of Comahue in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and lead author of the study. Instead, he was taken aback by the sixfold increase in the growth rate of crops that depend on domesticated bees for pollination.




Skip this cocktail party
EurekAlert - www.eurekalert.org (Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
20 May 2009

The most extensive study of pollutants in marine mammals' brains reveals that these animals are exposed to a hazardous cocktail of pesticides such as DDTs and PCBs, as well as emerging contaminants such as brominated flame retardants.

Eric Montie, the lead author on the study currently in press and published online April 17 in Environmental Pollution, performed the research as a student in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution-MIT Joint Graduate Program in Oceanography and Ocean Engineering and as a postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The final data analysis and writing were conducted at College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, where Montie now works in David Mann's marine sensory biology lab.

Co-author Chris Reddy, a senior scientist in the WHOI Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, describes the work as "groundbreaking because Eric measures a variety of different chemicals in animal tissues that had not been previously explored. It gives us greater insight into how these chemicals may behave in marine mammals."




Heat-tolerant Coral Reefs Discovered: May Survive Global Warming
ScienceDaily - www.sciencedaily.com (Source: Stanford University)
19 May 2009
Photo credit: Tom Oliver

Experts say that more than half of the world's coral reefs could disappear in the next 50 years, in large part because of higher ocean temperatures caused by climate change. But now Stanford University scientists have found evidence that some coral reefs are adapting and may actually survive global warming.

"Corals are certainly threatened by environmental change, but this research has really sparked the notion that corals may be tougher than we thought," said Stephen Palumbi, a professor of biology and a senior fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.

Palumbi and his Stanford colleagues began studying the resiliency of coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean in 2006 with the support of a Woods Institute Environmental Venture Project grant. The project has expanded and is now being funded by Conservation International and the Bio-X program at Stanford.

Link
WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
Photo credit: Atlantic Productions Ltd

WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED PUBLICATIONS
Browse complete Digest publications library here.

Trichinella britovi in a leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Iran
Veterinary Parasitology. 2009; Epub ahead of print
G Mowlavia et al.

Prevalence of Chlamydophila psittaci in wild birds—potential risk for domestic poultry, pet birds, and public health?
European Journal of Wildlife Research. 2009; Epub ahead of print
D Zweifel1 et al.

De Novo Generation of Infectious Prions In Vitro Produces a New Disease Phenotype

PLoS Pathog. 2009; 5(5): e1000421 [free full-text available]
MA Barria

May 20, 2009

TOP STORIES

Trout Disease: VHS Virus Infects Fish Via Their Gills
ScienceDaily - www.sciencedaily.com
15 May 2009
Photo credit: Bjørn Erik Brudeseth

Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) is a highly contagious disease of rainbow trout in fresh water, causing great economic loss in the European trout farming industry. In his doctorate, Bjørn Erik Brudeseth presented new findings and methods that explain why some seawater-isolated VHS virus are unable to infect rainbow trout.

The VHS virus is known to occur in wild marine fish. The Baltic Sea, for example, has a high incidence of infected fish, in particular herring.

For his doctorate, Bjørn Brudeseth carried out several marine surveys during the period 1997 - 1999 to study the incidence of VHS virus in marine fish in Norwegian waters, in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Research.




Turtle die-off near Town of Menasha park continues
The Northwestern - www.thenorthwestern.com
17 May 2009
E Lowe
Area: Town of Menasha, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, USA - Map It

Town staff last week found and removed several dead turtles from the lagoons near Fritse Park, where more than a dozen others were found dead in recent weeks. Also, another large snapping turtle was found dead Sunday at the site by a Post-Crescent reporter, and another snapper appeared ill and possibly close to death.

The latest reports suggest the die-off of snapping and painted turtles in the shallow stormwater-fed ponds just west of Little Lake Butte des Morts is continuing.

However, the cause of the die-off does not appear to be threatening the health of many other turtles in the same natural area. Several painted turtles and a large snapping turtle appeared active and healthy at the site Sunday afternoon.




West Nile virus detected in York County
PennLive - www.pennlive.com (Source: The Patriot-News)
18 May 2009
C Courogen
Photo credit: AP Photo/Great Falls Tribune
Area: Springettsbury Township, York County, Pennsylvania, USA - Map It

The state's first finding of West Nile Virus in 2009 has been reported. State officials said the mosquito borne virus was detected in a dead American crow found in Springettsbury Township, York County. This is the earliest reported evidence of West Nile in the state since 2003, when the virus was detected in late April of that year, according to the state's West Nile Virus Surveillance Program.

According to a press release issued by the state, the virus, which can result in serious illness, or even death, in humans, has not been detected in any humans yet this year. In 2008 West Nile virus was discovered in 37 counties, with 14 people infected. One death was attributed to the disease last year.



Tuberculosis Case Identified on Indiana Cervid Farm
Indiana State Board of Animal Health - www.in.gov/boah/
15 May 2009
Area: Indiana, United States

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) is investigating a case of bovine tuberculosis (commonly called "TB," or more formally known as Mycobacterium bovis) in a farm-raised cervid herd in Southeastern Indiana. "Cervid" is a category of animals that includes elk and various species of deer.

A BOAH veterinarian found the TB infection in a red deer being processed for meat. A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratory test confirmed the disease.

The animals in the cervid herd, which include elk, red deer, fallow deer and Sika deer, are part of an on-going targeted surveillance program. The farm sits in close geographic proximity to a beef cattle herd that was traced to a TB-positive cow in December 2008.



Avian influenza, wild birds
ProMed - www.promedmail.org
18 May 2009
Location: Qinghai province, China - Map It

On 17 May 2009, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture announced that the National Avian influenza Reference Laboratory had confirmed avian influenza among migratory birds in Qinghai province. According to the briefing, the regional veterinary departments in Gahai found dead migratory birds on 8 May 2009. Specimens were collected and sent for testing. On 12 May 2009, the Qinghai Provincial Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center detected weak positive signals for highly pathogenic avian influenza using RT-PCR.

On 17 May 2009, the birds were confirmed to be infected with highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza by the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory. As of yesterday [17 May 2009], 121 wild birds had died.


WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
Photo credit: The Telegraph


WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED PUBLICATIONS
Browse complete Digest publications library here.

The importance of disease management programmes for wildlife conservation
Animal Conservation. 2009 June; 12(3): 185-186
K Acevedo-Whitehouse

Barriers to movement: impacts of wind farms on migrating birds
ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil 2009 66(4):746-753
EA Masden et al.


Parasite zoonoses and climate change: molecular tools for tracking shifting boundaries
Trends Parasitol. 2009 May 8. [Epub ahead of print]
L Polley and RC Thompson

Simultaneous determination of microcystin contaminations in various vertebrates (fish, turtle, duck and water bird) from a large eutrophic Chinese lake, Lake Taihu, with toxic Microcystis blooms
The Science of the total environment. 2009 May 01; 407(10):3317-22
Jun Chen et al.

May 19, 2009

TOP STORIES

31 elephants in parks have TB: Report
Republica - www.myrepublica.com
14 May 2009
C Hamal
Chitwan National Park, Chitwan District, Nepal - Map It

While 31 elephants in Nepal are infected with TB, only 19 are receiving treatment. According to the Chitwan National Park, there is a possibility that more elephants could contract the disease as many infected elephants have not received any treatment.

Information released by the Department of Wildlife states that there are more than 200 elephants in Nepal. These elephants are either conserved by the state or are privately-owned. The TB-infected elephants owned privately by hotels in Sauraha are not receiving treatment in the lack of appropriate funds on the part of the hotels.

Dr Jeevan Thapa, a veterinarian treating the elephants says that it is impossible to control the spread of the disease unless all elephants are treated. Hoteliers in Sauraha say they are willing to treat the elephants only if they receive aid.




Calif. condor deaths shows lead still a problem
San Jose Mercury News - www.mercurynews.com
16 May 2009
T Cone
Area: Pinnacles National Monument, San Benito County, California, USA - Map It

No. 286 was the old man of this park's California condor restoration program. Hatched in a zoo seven years ago, he learned to live in the wild, a hopeful sign the majestic birds' population could rise again.

But recently somewhere on his journey above Pinnacles' rocky spires to neighboring cattle ranches and beyond, the endangered vulture got lead poisoning. Then on May 11, condor No. 286 died at the Los Angeles Zoo.

"It's sad, and it indicates the uphill battle we have," said Jim Petterson, a wildlife biologist at Pinnacles.




Shore birds in decline
Monterey Herald - www.montereyherald.com
16 May 2009
K Howe
Photo credit: J Poklen
Area: Santa Cruz County, California, USA - Map It

A shortage of anchovies and juvenile sardines in Monterey Bay has led to a massive die-off of shorebirds, according to the state Department of Fish and Game.

Since April 10, upward of 300 dead birds — cormorants, grebes, brants and a few loons — have been found on the shoreline between New Brighton State Beach in Santa Cruz County and Del Monte Beach, said Hanna Nevins, sea bird biologist with the Department of Fish and Game's Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center in Santa Cruz.

All are near-shore birds that forage close to shore, she said.




Acid ocean may not harm reefs
Science Alert - www.sciencealert.com.au
19 May 2009
Photo credit: iStockphoto

Groundbreaking Victoria University research shows that ocean acidification may have no negative effect on tropical corals and local sea anemones - in fact it may improve photosynthesis.

Ocean acidification is when carbon dioxide from the atmosphere dissolves into our oceans and makes them more acidic. Research to date has shown that if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced, ocean acidification could have severe—and irreversible—consequences for marine life.

But Victoria Master’s student Michael Doherty says his research shows that ocean acidification has no negative effect on photosynthesis in the coral and sea anemone he studied, and that it might actually improve the process.




Elizabeth Kolbert, A Reporter at Large, “The Sixth Extinction?
New Yorker - www.newyorker.com
25 May 2009
E Kolbert

A REPORTER AT LARGE about the sixth mass extinction. Describes how graduate student Karen Lips observed the mysterious disappearance of large numbers of local golden frogs, in the nineteen-nineties, at several locations in Panama and Costa Rica. Whatever was killing Lips’s frogs moved east, like a wave, across Panama.

Of the many species that have existed on earth, more than ninety-nine per cent have disappeared. Yet extinction has been a much contested concept. Throughout the eighteenth century, the prevailing view was that species were fixed.

Charles Darwin believed extinction happened only slowly, but he was wrong. Over the past half billion years, there have been at least twenty mass extinctions.

>>>ABSTRACT
>>>The Human Factor [podcast of the history of mass extinctions]



OTHER WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
Photo credit: Guardian News




WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED PUBLICATIONS
Browse complete Digest publications library here.

Letter from Congressional Representatives to Ken Salazar, Secretary of the U.S. Dept of the Interior [pdf]

First cases of squirrelpox in red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in Scotland
Vet Rec. 2009 Apr 25;164(17):528-31
CJ McInnes et al.

Annual use of water sources by reintroduced Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep Ovis canadensis canadensis: effects of season and drought
Acta Theriologica. 2009 Apr; 54(2):127-136
JC Whiting et al.

Toxic Effects of Oral Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine in the Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)
Environ Toxicol Chem. 2009 May 05; 28(5):1043–1050
CA McFarland CA et al.

Mercury-Induced Reproductive Impairment in Fish
Environ Toxicol Chem. 2009 May 05; 28(5): 895–907
KL Crump and VL Trudeau