January 12, 2010


Monkeys Are Canaries in Lead Mine

You’ve heard about the canary in the coal mine. And frogs as signals of environmental degradation. The latest animal to serve as a harbinger of toxic exposures to humans may be: monkeys. That’s according to research in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Macaques live in close quarters with people in parts of Nepal. So scientists thought that the monkeys might be “sentinels” for human lead exposure.

Lead can have multiple deleterious health effects, from impairing neurological development to kidney, liver, and circulatory and respiratory problems.

Avian influenza (01): China (HK) wild bird, OIE

Information received on (and dated) 5 Jan 2010 from Dr Thomas Sit, Assistant Director, Inspection & Quarantine, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Cheung Sha Wan, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (PR China)

Report type: immediate notification (final report)
Start date: 29 Dec 2009
Date of 1st confirmation of the event: 31 Dec 2009
Report date: 5 Jan 2010
Date submitted to OIE: 5 Jan 2010
Date event resolved: 29 Dec 2009
Reason for notification: reoccurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence: April 2009
Manifestation of disease: sub-clinical infection
Causal agent: highly pathogenic avian influenza virus
Serotype: H5N1
Nature of diagnosis: laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to the whole country

Pro-MED-mail - www.promedmail.org
05 Jan 2010
Area: Hok Tau, Hong Kong - Map It


Birds Fight Alien Parasites: Darwin's Finches Develop Antibodies to Flies, Pox Virus

Unlike Hawaii and other island groups, no native bird has gone extinct in the Galapagos Islands, although some are in danger.

Now, University of Utah biologists have found that finches -- the birds Darwin studied -- develop antibodies against two parasites that moved to the Galapagos, suggesting the birds can fight the alien invaders.

With the discovery that the medium ground finches produce antibodies aimed specifically at the parasites -- a pox virus and a nest fly -- "the next step is to determine if this immune response is helping the birds or hurting the birds," says University of Utah biology Professor Dale Clayton, who led the new study.

ScienceDaily - www.sciencedaily.com
07 Jan 2010
Photo credit: Jen Koop, University of Utah


Coral Can Recover from Climate Change Damage, New Research Suggests

A study by the University of Exeter provides the first evidence that coral reefs can recover from the devastating effects of climate change.

Published Jan. 11, 2010 in the journal PLoS ONE, the research shows for the first time that coral reefs located in marine reserves can recover from the impacts of global warming.

. . . Now, this research adds weight to the argument that reducing levels of fishing is a viable way of protecting the world's most delicate aquatic ecosystems.

Invasive Species
Huh, That's Interesting!
Photo credit: BBC News
It Ain't All Bad News


Browse complete Digest publication library here.

Performance and accuracy of Argos transmitters for wildlife monitoring in Southern Russia
European Journal of Wildlife Research. 2009; [Epub ahead of print]
M Dubinin et al.

Correlates of Viral Richness in Bats (Order Chiroptera)
Ecohealth. 2010 Jan 5. [Epub ahead of print]
AS Turmelle and KJ Olival

Relationship between Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) sperm quality and level of parasitism
European Journal of Wildlife Research. 2010; [Epub ahead of print]
J Santiago-Moreno et al.

Australian Wildlife Health Network Update
[scroll to page 6]
Animal Health Surveillance Quarterly (AHSQ) Report. 2009 Jul-Sep; 14(3): 6-8 [free full-text pdf available]
AWHN updates include: wild bird mortality events, avian salmonella, and Australian bat lyssavirus and Hendra virus

Effects of Two Amphibian Pathogens on the Developmental Stability of Green Frogs
Conservation Biology. 2010; [Epub ahead of print]
V St-Amour et al.

Spatiotemporal Structure of Molecular Evolution of H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses in Vietnam
PLoS ONE. 2010; 5(1): e8631.
MA Carrel et al.