June 24, 2010


An Update on the South Australia (SA) Dolphins

The skin lesions on Wave and her calf Tullula are healing. The most recent images taken on 22/05/2010, show the healing progress of the skin condition affecting two Port River Dolphins. Quite incredible. Photos of the initial condition are attached for comparison (13 April 2010). “Wave and calf were first reported with major skin lesions on April 11. Wave's were on her right flank and the calf's on the left flank.

Following a posting on MARMAM (Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion group) a number of responses were received concerning possible cause of the lesions. The most common cause suggested was burning (chemical, hot water or sunburn). Several respondents commented that this was the most severe case of skin lesion in a living dolphin they had seen.

Several people suggested swabbing the lesions to determine nature of the initial and/or secondary infection. After due consideration this option was rejected as too invasive, and unnecessary given continued improvement of both animals. It was also noted that even if the nature of a possible infection could be ascertained the application of treatment would be problematic. Enquiries in the local area have failed to provide evidence of any cause of the lesions. No other dolphins in this estuarine resident community have shown evidence of lesions.” (B. Saberton personal communication).

Key SA organisations and agencies have worked together to monitor and assess the situation in collaboration with a number of key wildlife health experts both nationally and internationally. The dolphins are still being photographed and improving as of June 18.

Thank you to those involved for providing permission to disseminate this to AWHN subscribers.

Australian Wildlife Health Network (AWHN)
Barbara Saberton and Mike Bossley
The original media release: “Port River dolphins 'scalded'” 13/4/2010 Adelaide Now
Courtesy of the Australian Wildlife Health Network, http://www.wildlifehealth.org.au

Pigeons are carriers of harmful bacteria--study

. . . A study conducted by Animal Health Research Center, Madrid on feral pigeons from the streets of the city reveals that the pigeons carry virulent bacteria which can cause gastro-intestinal diseases in humans.

The news caught notice when BioMed Central’s open access journal "Acta Vetinaria Scandinavica" published a research study on pigeons suggesting that the birds might pose a threat to human population due to presence of bacteria capable of causing pneumonia, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.

The bacteria, named Chlamydia psittaci and Campylobacter jejuni, are present in a major bird population and are found to be more detrimental than Salmonella.

The Med Guru - www.themedguru.com
23 June 2010
S Chandvani
Photo courtesy of The Med Guru

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Two Bat Species Threatened by White-nose Syndrome

The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a formal notice of intent to sue Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for not acting quickly enough to give endangered species protections to two bat species hit hard by a fast-spreading, lethal disease known as white-nose syndrome.

The Center says the agency has hurt both eastern small-footed and northern long-eared bats by missing legally required deadlines for responding to an Endangered Species Act petition to protect them.

“Bat numbers are plummeting, bat biologists across the country have been urgently sounding the extinction alarm, and yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is silent,” said Mollie Matteson, a conservation advocate at the Center.

Center for Biological Diversity - www.biologicaldiversity.org
23 June 2010
Photo courtesy of WBIR-TV

Small Creatures Will Be Oil Spill's Biggest Victims

Over the last two months, the BP oil leak has unleashed all manner of havoc on the ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico.

But while sad pictures of large-eyed, oil coated birds make these animals the most visible victims of the oil leak, smaller ocean creatures will bear the brunt of the damage, scientists say.

"The greatest threat is to the whole food chain, and the base of the food chain, said John Caruso, an ecology and evolutionary biology professor at Tulane University.

Live Science - www.livescience.com
18 June 2010
S Fox
Photo credit: NOAA

Photo credit: NOAA

Coral Reef News