November 10, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Devil disease reaches Tarkine

The discovery of sick Tasmanian Devils in one of the endangered species' last strongholds has strengthened calls for the Tarkine to be heritage listed.

Researchers from the Save the Tasmania Devil program recently found two cases of the devil facial tumour disease at Takone, near Wynyard, on the border of the rainforest area.

Conservationists have been calling on Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to protect the Tarkine, and subsequently the last pocket of healthy devils, for more than two years.

... Both the Tasmanian and Australian Greens yesterday said news that the Tasmanian Devil facial tumour disease had spread further into North-West Tasmania meant that time for debate over the Tarkine's protection had expired.

... "The disease is slowly approaching the Arthur River which is the last major natural barrier preventing diseased animals moving into the Tarkine region," Mr O'Halloran said.

The Mercury -
10 Nov 2011
Location: Takone, Tasmania - Map It


Further Tests Fail to Detect Salmon Virus

Canadian fisheries and food safety officials said Tuesday that new government tests showed no evidence of a deadly salmon virus in fish that advocates for wild salmon reported last month contained traces of the virus.

The officials, from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the national Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and British Columbia, said they had retested fish that advocates had collected from rivers on the Pacific coast and found no evidence of infectious salmon anemia, which has devastated farmed fish in Chile and elsewhere. Yet they also said some of their tests were inconclusive, and advocates immediately questioned the government announcement.

… But some scientists in Canada and the United States questioned the test methodology. “For anyone to say that infectious salmon anemia is present in British Columbia on the basis of the Prince Edward Island results is misrepresenting the science,” said Dr. Paul Kitching, head of animal health for British Columbia.

New York Times -
09 Nov 2011
Location: Canada


Reported Wildlife Mortality Events to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center Updated

USGS and a network of partners across the country work on documenting wildlife mortality events in order to provide timely and accurate information on locations, species and causes of death.

This information was updated on Nov 4, 2011 on the USGS National Wildlife Health Center web page, New and Ongoing Wildlife Mortality Events Nationwide.

Quarterly Mortality Reports are also available from this page. These reports go back to 1995.

USGS National Wildlife Health Center
04 Nov 2011

Photo courtesy of The Guardian's Week in Wildlife