April 15, 2010


White-nose syndrome in bat populations - The presence of the syndrome is confirmed in Québec

The Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) has recently detected the presence of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in certain bat populations in Québec. This infection, although potentially fatal for bats, does not pose a threat to humans, since to date no human infection connected to the syndrome has been reported.

WNS has been formally identified in the Outaouais region, but reports of abnormal behaviour by suspect bats have also been made in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region in recent weeks.

The MRNF is monitoring the situation with assistance from the Centre québécois sur la santé des animaux sauvages and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center.

Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune - www.mrnf.gouv.qc.ca
13 April 2010
Location: Outaouais region, Quebec, Canada - Map It

China ship 'seriously damaged' Great Barrier Reef

The Australian authorities have said a Chinese bulk carrier which ran aground off Queensland has caused widespread damage to the famed Great Barrier Reef.

. . . Divers have now had the chance to deliver an early assessment of the harm done to the reef, and have found coral damage and paint scrapings that stretch for more than 1km (0.6 miles).

. . . The authorities are particularly worried about toxic paint that has been scraped off the hull - because it has immediately started killing off corals in the vicinity.

BBC News - news.bbc.co.uk
13 April 2010
N Bryant
Image courtesy of BBC News Location: Douglas Shoal, Queensland, Australia - Map It

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Wildlife still exposed to Exxon Valdez oil 20 years after disaster

Scientists in Alaska have discovered that lingering oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill is still being ingested by some wildlife more than 20 years after the disaster.

The research, published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, uses biomarkers to reveal long-term exposure to oil in harlequin ducks and demonstrates how consequences of oil spills are measured in decades rather than years.

The Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground on the Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989, spilling 10.8 million gallons of crude oil into the sea, covering 1,300 square miles. It is still regarded as one of the most devastating human-caused contamination events, and the effects on wildlife populations and communities have been debated by biologists, ecologists, and the oil industry ever since.

Science Blog - www.scienceblog.com
14 April 2010

Cited Journal Article

Photo courtesy of NASA

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Isolation and characterization of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H5N1 from donkeys
Journal of Biomedical Science. 2010; 17(25)
AS Abdel-Moneim et al.

Invasion of Ceratomyxa shasta (Myxozoa) and comparison of migration to the intestine between susceptible and resistant fish hosts
International Journal for Parasitology. 2010; [Epub ahead of print]
SJ Bjorka and JL Bartholomew

Detection of the Abnormal Isoform of the Prion Protein Associated With Chronic Wasting Disease in the Optic Pathways of the Brain and Retina of Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni)
Vet Pathol. 2010 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]
TR Spraker et al.

Systemic Sarcocystosis in a Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
Vet Pathol. 2010 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print]
GN Burcham et al.

Fennoscandian distribution of an important parasite of cervids, the deer ked(Lipoptena cervi), revisited
Parasitol Res. 2010 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]
P Välimäki et al.