March 4, 2010


GF&P secretary: Killing off bighorns not a serious option

Killing off the disease-plagued bighorn sheep herd in Custer State Park is not a serious option at this point, state Game, Fish & Parks Department Secretary Jeff Vonk said Wednesday. And Vonk doubts it every will be.

... Instead, park managers will continue working with university specialists in bighorns sheep diseases in hopes of finding a treatment for the herd. It has dwindled from about 200 to prior the pneumonia outbreak five years ago to the latest count of 28.

...Pneumonia has been a problems for bighorns in other states, including Montana and Idaho. But only the bighorn herd in Custer State Park has suffered severe losses in South Dakota. Several hundred other sheep live in separate herds in the Black Hills, as well as in the badlands.

Rapid City Journal -
03 Mar 2010

K Woster

Photo courtesy of USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Location: South Dakota, USA - Map It

Chemical causes high contamination levels in Atlantic dolphins

A closed chemical factory on a Brunswick marsh has caused record-high PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) contamination in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that ate polluted fish, scientists have concluded. The damage tied to LCP Chemicals, including the highest ever recorded in a marine mammal, is refocusing old questions about people's risks of eating contaminated seafood.

In August, scientists examined the health of dolphins in Brunswick and around nearly undeveloped Sapelo Island farther north. They also took tissue samples from animals in both places.

The scientists discovered PCB levels in Sapelo dolphins were more than twice as high as on most of the East Coast, and came from a product called Aroclor 1268 that was used at LCP. The contamination in Brunswick was off the charts.

News -
01 Mar 2010
S Patterson
Location: Georgia
, USA - Sapelo Island - Map It and Brunswick - Map It

>>> FULL ARTICLE [includes video]

VHS Virus infects Superior

The viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) has been coursing its way through the great lakes water system for years without infecting Lake Superior, but according to a recent announcement by Cornell University researchers, this is no longer the case.

"On a worldwide basis, VHSV is considered one of the most serious pathogens of fish, because it kills so many fish, is not treatable and infects a broad range of fish species," said Paul Bowser, professor of aquatic animal medicine at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.

University of Minnesota Duluth Statesman -
03 Mar 2010
S Schmidley
Photo courtesy of Statesman
Location: Lake Superior, Minnesota, USA - Map It

[Minnesota] DNR news briefs: Moose population still declining

The results of an aerial survey released by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), indicates that populations of moose continue to decline in northeastern Minnesota.

"Moose are superbly adapted to the cold but intolerant of heat," said Dr. Mark Lenarz, DNR forest wildlife group leader, "and scientists believe that summer temperatures will likely determine the southern limit of this species."

The researchers estimated that there are 5,528 moose in northeastern Minnesota now in 2010. The number is down from last year's estimated, 7,593.

University of Minnesota Duluth Statesman -
03 Mar 2010

Invasive Species
It Ain't All Bad News


Browse complete Digest publication library here.

Deforestation and avian infectious diseases
J Exp Biol. 2010 Mar;213(Pt 6):955-60. [special issue: Survival in a changing world]
RN Sehgal

Tularemia, plague, yersiniosis, and Tyzzer's disease in wild rodents and lagomorphs in Canada: A review
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Distribution of lesions in red and fallow deer naturally infected with Mycobacterium bovis
J Comp Pathol. 2010 Jan;142(1):43-50. Epub 2009 Aug 19.
MP Martín-Hernando et al.

Forensic Science in Wildlife Investigations
[book review]
Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2010 Feb 23. [Epub ahead of print]
L Wilson-Wilde

Systematic Review of Surveillance Systems for Emerging Zoonoses
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 2010; [Epub ahead of print]
L Vrbova et al.