January 7, 2010


Official: Dolphins, pelicans found dead

Almost two dozen dolphins and pelicans are found dead in Baldwin County and researchers don't know why.

. . . Since September, a total of seven dolphins have been found here. In addition to that, researchers also found 16 dead pelicans.

Researchers say they are not sure what caused the deaths, but they are working to figure out what is happening in nature.

FOX10 News - www.fox10tv.com
05 January 2010
H Tate, B Box
Photo credit: F Barraza
Location: Fort Morgan, Baldwin County, Alabama - Map It

>>> FULL ARTICLE [includes video, 1:53]

Seaweed chokes Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Australian natural wonder the Great Barrier Reef is overgrown in places by seaweed in what could be a worrying indication of the health of the coral structure, scientists said on Wednesday.

Surveys of the World Heritage-listed reef, already at risk from global warming, found that more than 40 percent of areas closest to shore were dominated by green weed, Professor David Bellwood said.

"We knew there would be some weed there, we were just surprised how much," Bellwood, a marine biologist from James Cook University, told AFP.

AFP - www.afp.com
06 January 2010
Photo courtesy of AFP

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.

But University of Utah biologists 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.

EurekAlert! - www.eurekalert.org
05 January 2010
Photo credit: J Koop/University of Utah

Journal Article Cited


Wildlife Habitat and Renewable Energy

Huh, That's Interesting!
Photo courtesy of The Dade County Sentinel

Browse complete Digest publication library here.

Outbreak Investigations Around the World: Case Studies in Infectious Disease Field Epidemiology [book review]
JAMA. 2010 Jan 06; 303(1): 77
HJ Chang

The Tasmanian Devil Transcriptome Reveals Schwann Cell Origins of a Clonally Transmissible Cancer
Science. 2010 Jan 1; 327 (5961): 84 - 87

Mapping the Spread of White-Nose Syndrome with GIS
ArcWatch. 2009 Sep; [Epub online]
Z Wilson and M Bayless

A review of Ireland's waterbirds, with emphasis on wintering migrants and reference to H5N1 avian influenza [free full-text pdf available]
Irish Veterinary Journal. 2009 Dec; 62 (12): 800-811
O Crowe et al.

Ecoimmunity in Darwin's Finches: Invasive Parasites Trigger Acquired Immunity in the Medium Ground Finch (Geospiza fortis) [free full-text available]
PLoS ONE. 2010: 5(1): e8605.
SK Huber et al.