November 28, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


PCBs eating away at turtles

When exposed to certain levels of PCBs, turtles suffer from stunted growth and weak bones, found a new study. With low bone-density, turtles have a tougher time diving, swimming and chewing their food. And the same is probably true for fish and other wild animals that are exposed to the ubiquitous environmental pollutant.

…. In fish, birds, minks and other creatures, PCBs have been linked with slower growth rates, particularly in young animals and developing embryos. Studies have also connected exposure to the chemical with tumors in mink jaws and deformed heads in zebrafish. Exposed adult animals tend to suffer from immune system and related problems.

… "It was such a big difference that you could see it," Dawn Holliday said. "You didn't have to get out a ruler to measure them."

The PCB group also had widespread patches of bone that were not mineralized, while the pollution-free turtles had strong, hard bones. Like dioxins and BPA, PCBs seem to interfere with hormone activity, Holliday said.

Discovery -
23 Nov 2011

Cited Journal Article
Holliday, et al. The effects of the organopollutant PCB 126 on bone density in juvenile diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) . Aquatic Toxology: 2011 (in press). doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2011.09.015.


Test shows chronic wasting disease in 3rd ND deer

A hunter shot the doe in western Grant County the opening weekend of the deer gun season, Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian Dan Grove said Tuesday. The deer tested positive for CWD at a Michigan State University lab. The results were being verified at an Iowa State University lab.

CWD, a fatal malady of the nervous system in members of the deer family, is present in numerous states and Canadian provinces. North Dakota had been somewhat of an island when it came to CWD until the first infected deer was killed in late 2009. A second deer tested positive late last year. All three infected deer were killed in the south central part of the state, within 15 miles of one another.

22 Nov 2011
Location: Grant County, North Dakota - Map It 


Photo courtesy of The Guardian's Week in Wildlife