November 15, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Avian influenza: SM, Japan, wild bird susp., RFI [20111112.3353]

Avian influenza infection has been confirmed in a dead tundra swan collected in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, the 1st such confirmation in the country this season, the Shimane prefectural government said Thursday [10 Nov 2011].

The local government is examining whether the virus is a highly virulent type. Results of the examination are expected in a week.

The infection was confirmed in a genetic test conducted at the National Institute for Environmental Studies on the carcass found last Monday [7 Nov 2011] in the Mihonoseki district of the western city, located on the Sea of Japan, according to the local government.

ProMED -
12 Nov 2011
Location: Matsue, Japan - Map It


22 Sperm Whales Die in Australia

Rescuers were racing against the clock on Monday to save two huge sperm whales stranded on a Tasmanian sandbank after 22 others died, the Parks and Wildlife Service said.

Marine mammal specialists were on site in Macquarie Harbour at Strahan on Tasmania’s northwest coast, but the rescue bid was hampered by rough weather.

Twenty-two of the whales — each weighing two tonnes and up to 12 meters long — washed ashore on Saturday at Ocean Beach near Strahan, and all of them died.

… The Parks and Wildlife Service said that samples had been taken from the 22 dead whales, which will remain on the beach until they decompose because they are too large to move or bury.

The Jakarta Globe -
14 Nov 2011
Location: Strahan, Tasmania - Map It


Lake Erie's algae outbreak taking toll on fish

Researchers who study Lake Erie think toxic algae blooms that have fouled the water in recent years will continue to cause drops in the number of walleye and perch in the lake. That could deal a big economic blow to northern Ohio towns along Lake Erie that depend on tourists who come to catch the prized sport fish.

Invasive species like the white perch and other fish that thrive in warmer water already are growing in numbers, said Roger Knight, administrator of the Lake Erie Fisheries Program within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Walleye and perch will suffer as a result, he told The News-Herald of Port Clinton. "We're probably not going to lose them, but they'll drop in abundance," he said. "The fish have been through this before."

A report released by the National Wildlife Federation in October blamed both excessive nutrients and invasive mussels that rob fish of food for the sharp drop-off in Great Lakes fish populations.

Middletown Journal -
13 Nov 2011
Location: Lake Erie, USA


Photo courtesy of The Guardian's Week in Wildlife