April 14, 2010


Outbreak Study: Satellite Tracking Reveals How Wild Birds May Spread Avian Flu

For the first time, migratory birds marked with satellite transmitters were tracked during an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus (H5N1) in Asia, providing evidence that wild birds may be partly responsible for the spread of the virus to new areas.

In the study, scientists from the USGS Alaska Science Center and the University of Tokyo attached satellite transmitters to 92 northern pintail ducks several months before the H5N1 virus was discovered in dead and dying whooper swans at wetlands in Japan.

They found that 12 percent of marked pintails used the same wetlands as infected swans and that pintails were present at those sites on dates the virus was discovered in swans. During the first week after they become infected with H5N1, ducks such as pintails can shed the virus orally or in their feces, potentially contributing to the virus’ spread.

USGS Newsroom - www.usgs.gov/newsroom
12 Apr 2010
Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Wildlife Officials think Pelicans were poisoned

Florida Wildlife Officials made a gruesome discovery. Fifteen pelicans were found dead left in a pile at the Taylor Creek Spillway in Fort Pierce.

The birds are protected by state and federal laws and it appears someone killed them on purpose.

Wildlife officials are calling this one of the biggest cases they've seen in our area in the past couple of years, considering how many birds are involved.

CBS 12 News - www.cbs12.com
12 Apr 2010
Location: Fort Pierce, Florida, USA - Map It

Marine Mammal Center sees surge in patients

The Marine Mammal Center is taking in more California sea lions, elephant seals and harbor seals than expected, and officials aren't sure why so many mammals are turning up sick.

The higher numbers reflect a trend that is making center officials take notice. In 2009, the center took in 1,709 animals, which was about three times the average it had seen in the previous five years.

. . . As of Monday, 13 California sea lions, 68 elephant seals and 32 harbor seals were at the Marin Headlands center receiving treatment - twice as many animals as there were last year at this time.

Marin Independent Journal - www.marinij.com
12 Apr 2010
M Prado
Photo credit: F Frost/Marin Independent Journal

More News about Marine Mammal Strandings
>>> Rescue effort to save beached dolphins in Tasmania [Pieman River, Tasmania, Australia - Map It ]
>>> 2 gray whales dead on NW Wash. beaches [Location: Deception Pass - Map It and Samish Island - Map It , Washington, USA]

Reported Wildlife Mortality Events to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center Updated

USGS and a network of partners across the country work on documenting wildlife mortality events in order to provide timely and accurate information on locations, species and causes of death. This information was updated on April 12, 2010 on the USGS National Wildlife Health Center web page, New and Ongoing Wildlife Mortality Events Nationwide. Quarterly Mortality Reports are also available from this page. These reports go back to 1995.

USGS National Wildlife Health Center
13 Apr 2010
Area: United States


Huh, That's Interesting!
Photo courtesy of the Courier-Post

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