February 9, 2010

Top Stories

Fatal bat syndrome spreads in Vt.

An illness that state biologists believe is killing off the bat population is spreading north.

Ryan Smith, a biologist with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, said Wednesday that White Nose Syndrome (WNS) was first discovered in Vermont two years ago in Dorset.

"Although reports are concentrated around Johnson at this time, we are also receiving scattered reports from other sections of the state," he said. "Unfortunately, WNS has continued to spread north, and we expect to receive more reports of abnormal bat activity from the northern half of the state. Last winter reports were concentrated in southern Vermont, but bat populations there have been devastated over the past two winters."

Bennington Banner - www.benningtonbanner.com
02 Feb 2010
K Whitcomb Jr.
Location: Johnson Vermont, USA - Map It

More WNS News

Cold took heavy toll on Florida wildlife

Despite four decades of slogging through Everglades marshes and mangroves, wildlife ecologist Frank Mazzotti had never experienced anything like the aftermath of frigid January. The confirmed casualty count so far:
  • At least 70 dead crocodiles.
  • More than 60 manatee carcasses.
  • A bright-side observance of multiple frozen-stiff Burmese pythons, the scourge of the Everglades.
And also, perhaps the biggest fish kill in modern Florida history.

Maimi Herlad - www.miamiherald.com
06 Feb 2010
C Morgan

Climate change, pollution are suspects in rusty blackbirds' plummeting numbers

. . . The rusty blackbird, a winter visitor to Dallas-Fort Worth, has suffered one of North America's steepest and least understood declines. Since 1970, scientists say, its numbers have plunged 85 percent to 99 percent.

Experts have a lineup of suspects, including habitat changes, disease, climate change and mercury pollution. But they have no proof of what has pushed Euphagus carolinus toward an ecological brink here and across the continent.

The Dallas Morning News - www.dallasnews.com
08 Feb 2010
RL Loftis
Photo courtesy of Dallas Morning News

Huh, That's Interesting!

Browse complete Digest publication library here.

Newsletter of the USGS National Wildlife Health Center - January 2010
Issue 2 [free full-text pdf available]

Genetic relatedness of H6 subtype avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds and domestic ducks in Korea and their pathogenicity in animals
J Gen Virol. 2010 Jan;91(Pt 1):208-19. Epub 2009 Oct 7.
HR Kim et al.

No evidence of transmission of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza to humans after unprotected contact with infected wild swans
Epidemiol Infect. 2010 Feb;138(2):210-3. Epub 2009 Sep 18
A Wallensten et al.

Widespread historical presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in African pipid frogs
Diversity and Distributions. 2010; 16(1): 126 - 131
C Soto-Azat et al.

Estimating the extent of spatial association of Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers in Ireland
Epidemiol Infect. 2010 Feb;138(2):270-9. Epub 2009 Aug 5.
GE Kelly et al.