December 12, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Bloomfield Highway Dotted With Dead Birds

... At lunchtime on Thursday, 40 to 50 dead European starlings were scattered in a 50-foot circle across U.S. 64 in Bloomfield. Some were lying on their backs with their small feet sticking up in the air, and at least one of them was missing its head

...The starlings likely roosted in shrubs north of the highway Wednesday night and died when they flew into the side of a large vehicle driving the highway late Wednesday or early Thursday morning, he said.

“It certainly is unusual,” Kendall said. “Usually birds are smarter than that.”

...Kendall said it is unlikely the Bloomfield birds died from environmental causes because the animals were so close together when they died.

ABQ Journal -
09 Dec 2011
R Boetel
Location: Bloomfield, New Mexico, USA - Map It

[New malaria strain found: Only a few seabird species susceptible to bird malaria]
Translated article [Disclaimer]

Seabirds often live in large colonies in a confined space. Parasites such as fleas and ticks, use this ideal habitat, with its abundant food supply. They can transmit blood parasites such as the bird malaria. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology examined now with an international team of colleagues, whether this applies equally to all the seabirds and whether climatic conditions of the habitat or the particular way of life influence the infestation with bird malaria.

They found that most birds are free of malaria parasites, but some groups, especially the frigate birds, especially common hosts of the malaria parasite. While there is a correlation between warmer temperatures and increased infections, but there are not at all tropical birds infected. Within a habitat for species increases with longer nestling period or special breeding grounds the Infektionsisiko.

... "In the Seevogelgemeinschaft of Christmas Island in the southern Indian Ocean, five species of seabirds are just the white-bellied frigate hosts of malaria. About half of the white-bellied frigate birds were affected, and the same three genetically different malaria lines of the genus Haemoproteus and Parahaemoproteus. One of them was a completely new strain. In contrast, tropic birds and three species of boobies not infected on the same island, "says Petra Quillfeldt further.

Wiener Zeitung -
06 Dec 2011
Location: Christmas Island, Australia

Tiny Frog Faces Big, Yet Unknown, Threat in New York State

The Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx and Queens Zoo animal experts have partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to uncover a mysterious threat that is causing a decline in northern cricket frogs, a tiny frog native to New York and other areas in the eastern United States.

The DEC and WCS have reported a major decline in cricket frogs in New York State. Locations of cricket frog populations within New York have dropped from 25 to only three or four over the last 10 years. The purpose of the DEC/WCS study, funded by State Wildlife Grants provided to the states through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve at-risk species, is to figure out exactly why the species are vanishing.

Wildlife Conservation Society -
05 Dec 2011


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