March 22, 2010


White Nose Syndrome Confirmed In Bats From Western Maryland Cave

Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists have confirmed that bat carcasses collected from a cave near Cumberland on March 5, 2010 were infected with White Nose Syndrome (WNS).

“This is the first confirmed WNS case in Maryland. DNR will implement a regimen of restricted access and decontamination procedures for all known bat locations,” said DNR Veterinarian Cindy Driscoll. “DNR has also encouraged the owners of the Cumberland cave to prohibit all access to the site.”

The four dead bats collected at the cave by DNR biologists were submitted to National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. for diagnostic evaluation of suspected WNS. The bats tested positive for Geomyces destructans, the fungus known to be the causative agent of skin lesions observed in WNS-affected bats. The center has confirmed the characteristic lesions of WNS in these bats.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources -
18 March 2010
mage courtesy of Maryland DNR

Storms threaten butterflies' winter rest in Mexico

. . . A loss of forests and food sources has for years thinned the number of monarchs coming to Mexico. But scientists fear that a new pattern of punishing winter storms may mark the start of an irreversible decline of the transcontinental migration.

In early February, normally one of Mexico's driest months, 15 inches of precipitation fell on hilly central regions, battering monarch reserves with snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Fewer butterflies arrived this year than ever before, and as many as half of them are thought to have perished in February.

. . . "Will butterflies come back? Yes, but the numbers will be so vanishingly small that it may mean the end of this spectacular phenomenon," Taylor added.

Reuters -
18 March 2010
P Rucker
Photo credit: A Winning/Reuters
Location: Mexico - Map It


More Extreme Weather Affecting Wildlife
>>> Fears harsh winter harmed UK wildlife

Crow deaths investigated

A rash of crow deaths in Florence has caught the attention of health and wildlife officials.

Florence city spokesman Phil Stevens said employees of the city's street department collected 15 dead crows Thursday.

. . . "With no one reporting seeing any sick birds, only dead ones, my initial suspicion is the deaths were caused by something that was fast-acting, like a pesticide," Hudson said. "Usually, when it's a virus or disease that causes the death, there will also be sick and dying birds in the area."

The Times Daily -
19 March 2010
D Sherer
Location: Florence, Alabama, USA - Map It


More Bird News
>>> Researchers look for answers to bird kill on Mississippi River [audio broadcast available here - requires RealPlayer; Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - Map It ; Dubuque, Iowa, USA - Map It ]


  1. All-black penguin discovered
  2. In the Spotlight Feature: Wildlife Health Newsmaker Interview with Lewis Gilbert [pdf]
  3. Suit blames Texas for whooping crane die-off
  4. Bird flu outbreak reported in five countries
  5. Nine Snake Species Proposed as Injurious Wildlife
  6. Marten the culprit in Sado's ibis deaths
  7. Desperate Efforts to Save Endangered Bats May Fail
  1. Veterinary Parasitology - 25 March 2010 [table of contents]
  2. A novel non-invasive tool for disease surveillance of free-ranging whales and its relevance to conservation programs
  3. Should we be trying to save the dodo?
  4. Climate change increases the likelihood of catastrophic avian mortality events during extreme heat waves

Photo credit: A Blackburn/Rex Features
Endangered Wildlife
Wildlife and Climate Change
Huh, That's Interesting!