October 6, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


UPDATE: Duck die-off in Lake Forest still a mystery

Wildlife and public health officials are still mystified about what is killing hundreds of mallard ducks who live in some ponds, lakes and watersheds in the city.

According to results released Tuesday by the Orange County Vector Control District on tests run on duck carcasses, officials still can not decisively say whether botulism or salmonella is causing the ducks' deaths. They have concluded, however, that none of the water fowl has died from a vector-borne disease like West Nile virus, said Jared Dever, a spokesman with the district. The dead ducks were taken to the district by officials from OC Animal Care and the Wetlands and Wildlife Center Care Center in Huntington Beach.

"The duck die-off is inconclusive based on the samples we tested," Dever said. "Speculation in the lab is there may have not been enough bacteria in the bird. The window is still open on botulism pending the testing of a bird carcass with a higher level of toxin."

The Orange County Register News - www.ocregister.com
04 Oct 2011
EI Ritchie
Locations: Orange County, California, USA

UPDATE: Scientific panel appointed to probe Gladstone's sick fish

The Queensland Government has appointed a scientific panel to investigate fish diseases in the Gladstone Harbour in the state's central region.

A ban on fishing was imposed earlier this month after anglers reported fish with skin lesions and cloudy eyes.

A preliminary report has identified red-spot disease and a parasite.

Queensland Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace says testing of fish will continue, but the new panel will look into water quality and human health concerns.

ABC News - www.abc.net.au
29 Sep 2011
P Robinson and M Hendry
Location: Gladstone, Queensland, Australia

Disease hinders reintroduction of water voles

Disease is hampering efforts to reintroduce endangered water voles to the British countryside, a new report has warned.

The semi-aquatic mammals are vulnerable to infection by a range of diseases that also infect humans, including giardia, cryptosporidium and leptospirosis.

Researchers found that the diseases seem to be more prevalent amongst the rodents that have been released into the wild as part of reintroduction projects.

In some cases reintroduced water voles were found to be nearly seven times as susceptible to diseases such as leptospirosis than existing resident populations.

Biologists from the Wildlife Conservation Unit at Oxford University, who wrote the report for the People's Trust for Endangered Species, believe this extra burden of disease is hampering efforts to restore populations of water voles in parts of the country.

The Telegraph - www.telegraph.co.uk
05 Oct 2011
R Gray
Location: United Kingdom

Photo courtesy of PhysOrg.com

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