October 13, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Botulism deaths of birds near Stillwater climb to 2,356

The number of ducks and others birds killed in a botulism outbreak in a private lake near Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge now totals 2,356, according to officials with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

The outbreak at Six Man Club, located about 20 miles southwest of Stillwater, began Aug. 30. It’s unknown how soon it might end and could be worsened by warming weather, said NDOW spokesman Chris Healy.

The outbreak is now the 10th worst for botulism since state records started in 1949. Officials say there is little danger it will spread to Stillwater or other nearby water bodies.

Reno-Gazette Journal - www.rgj.com
11 Oct 2011
Location: Stillwater, Nevada, USA - Map It


4 dead dolphins wash up on Gulf Coast beaches in 5 days; deaths part of 'unusual mortality event'

A dolphin carcass, bloated and violet in the morning sun, was found on Fort Morgan early Saturday, bringing the number lost since the BP oil spill to more than 400. Three other dolphins have washed up in Alabama in the past week, including a pregnant female on Dauphin Island and a mother and calf pair on Hollingers Island in Mobile Bay.

"We should be seeing one (death) a month at this time of year," said Ruth Carmichael, a Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientist tasked with responding to reports of dead dolphins. "We’re getting one or more a week. It’s just never slowed down."

An examination of the Gulfwide death toll, broken down by month, reveals that dolphins continue to die at rates four to 10 times higher than normal. For instance, 23 dolphins were found dead in August, compared to a monthly average of less than 3 each August between 2002 and 2009.

Federal scientists acknowledge they are no closer to solving the mystery behind the "Unusual Mortality Event" that has been sweeping through the Gulf’s dolphin population since March of 2010, one month before BP’s well was unleashed.

Alabama Live - www.al.com
10 Oct 2011
Location: Fort Morgan, Alabama, USA - Map It


PPhoto courtesy of The Guardian's Week in Wildlife

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