October 20, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


ND stops hunting license sales because of disease

North Dakota officials announced Tuesday they are suspending the sale of some remaining deer hunting licenses and offered refunds to the holders of 13,000 licenses that already have been sold after detecting a disease that kills white-tailed deer in much of the western portion of the state.

The state Game and Fish Department began receiving isolated reports in August of deer deaths from epizootic hemorrhagic disease, better known as EHD, Wildlife Chief Randy Kreil said. With pheasant hunting season under way, reports have intensified to a "steady stream," he said.

"We've had about 120 reports, totaling about 300 dead deer," he said. "The first week of pheasant season is the real telltale sign of the intensity and extent of the outbreak. It's not a scientific survey by any means, but at the same time it's pretty clear and convincing evidence."

Kreil said it is difficult to estimate how many deer might have died but the outbreak appears to be the biggest since 2000. Environmental conditions were similar that year, with warm and wet conditions in late summer and early fall that are conducive to the development of the insects that transmit the disease, he said.

The Republic - www.therepublic.com
18 Oct 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA - Map It


Reports of distemper in foxes and raccoons up in some Bay Area wildlife centers

More wild foxes and raccoons with distemper symptoms are being reported this year in several Bay Area parks and wildlife centers, signaling a threat to household pets that aren't vaccinated against the highly contagious and deadly virus.

Humans don't get distemper, but pets are at risk. Distemper is spread primarily through the air, but also through direct contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids.

"There are ebbs and flows with distemper. When populations are high, the potential for spreading is higher," said Susan Heckley, wildlife rehabilitation director at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. "Many wild animals get it. That's a very good reason to vaccinate your pets."

The Lindsay museum reported six gray foxes this summer with distemper symptoms, a slightly higher number than usual, Heckley said. For each sick animal brought to a shelter or hospital, there likely are several more in the wild with the disease, she added.

Mercury News - www.mercurynews.com
19 Oct 2011
Location: Walnut Creek, California, USA - Map It