May 11, 2010


Mercury high in Japanese town that hunts dolphins

Residents of the dolphin-hunting village depicted in Oscar documentary "The Cove" have dangerously high mercury levels, likely because of their fondness for dolphin and whale meat, a government lab said Sunday.

"The results suggest there is a connection between hair mercury levels and eating cetaceans," Director Koji Okamoto told reporters at town hall.

Mercury accumulates up the food chain, so large predators such as dolphins, tuna and swordfish tend to have the highest levels.

Google News - (Source: Associated Press)
09 May 2010
J Alabaster

Photo credit: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi


Experts offer tips on wolf parasite

Two experts on a tapeworm found in wolves said Friday that public education was the key in preventing the disease from being transmitted to people.

Speaking over the telephone to members of the Environmental Quality Control panel, Dr. Valerius Geist, professor emeritus of Environmental Science, The University of Calgary, Calgary, and Helen Schwantje, a wildlife veterinarian with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Land and Parks, said people can take certain steps to reduce the risk of echinococcus, a genus of tapeworm found in wolves and other canines.

In a recent interview, Rep. Chas Vincent, the committee chairman, said echinococcus, also known as hytadid disease, can have a latency period of 10-15 years before cysts develop in humans.

KECI News Channel 13 - (Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)
10 May 2010


Global conference stresses pandemic flu preparedness and looks to the future

Recent pandemic breakouts of H1N1 (swine flu) and H5N1 (avian flu) have highlighted the difficult nature of identifying, preventing, and containing diseases transmitted from animals to humans, also called zoonotic diseases.

The 7th International International Conference on “Animal and Pandemic Influenza: The way forward,” (IMCAPI) held from 19 to 21 April in Hanoi, Vietnam, provided a forum for the discussion of critical issues related to zoonotic pandemics and allowed representatives from more than 70 countries to engage in conversation and the sharing of ideas.

The resulting Hanoi Declaration synthesized the results of the conference and offers a way forward for prevention.

Media Global -
06 May 2010
R Mintzer

Photo credit: C.S. Goldsmith and A. Balish, CDC


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Louisiana wildlife officials probe deaths of oil-covered birds

In what could prove to be the first such deaths caused by the oil slicks bearing down on the American Gulf Coast, Louisiana wildlife officials discovered a pair of lifeless, oil-covered birds on Wednesday near a wildlife refuge east of the Mississippi River.

On Wednesday afternoon, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officers Ray Champagne and Aaron Hastingsto found the dead birds in the Grand Gosier islands, part of an archipelago of the so-called barrier islands 30 kilometres east of the Mississippi delta.

It's around these small islands that the oil slick is concentrated.

Globe and Mail -
06 May 2010
J Wingrove
Photo credit:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents and posted to

Location: Grand Gosier Islands, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, USA - Map It


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Photo credit: National Geographic News
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