December 13, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Bird flu threat looms large over Pakistan

Inappropriate policies, lapses in the 18th Amendment and prolonged delay in departmental procedures have pushed the country towards the deadliest viral disease of ‘bird flu’ at a time when the country is already facing severe problems due to dengue virus.

A large number of birds migrate from Europe to the South Asian countries, including Pakistan during the winter season, which according to the experts, are the core source of viral diseases, particularly the bird flu. So far tens of thousands of migratory birds along with the significant alarms of bird flu have arrived in the country.

Contrary to past years, there is no surveillance or control programme at present in the country, as in the pretext of 18th Amendment, the National Programme for the Control and Prevention of Avian & Pandemic Influenza under which bird flu had been combated and later on it also performed the surveillance services, was devolved in the mid of the outgoing year in the provinces.

Daily Times - 12 Dec 2012 A Farooq Photo courtesy of Daily Times Location: Pakistan


Pneumonia Confirmed in Cinnabar Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks confirms the discovery of pneumonia in the Cinnabar Mountain bighorn sheep herd near Corwin Springs earlier this week.

A report was made to FWP Monday about sheep coughing at Cinnabar Mountain. An FWP field biologist responded by observing the herd and evaluating the likelihood of the presence of pneumonia. Following the observation, two lambs were lethally removed on site and brought to the state wildlife lab in Bozeman for examination. Evidence of pneumonia was present in lungs of both lambs.

The Wildlife News -
10 Dec 2011
K Cole
Location: Corwin Springs, Montana, USA - Map It

Devil of a disappointment as tumour disease spreads to isolated pocket

The devastating cancer that has killed thousands of endangered Tasmanian devils has spread to a new part of the island state.

The discovery this week of a sick animal with the devil facial tumour disease near the west coast mining town of Zeehan has destroyed hopes of a naturally resistant population living on Tasmania's wild west coast.

It is the first time a sick devil has been found so far south and west, says Howel Williams, director of the state government's Save the Tasmanian Devil program.

The Australian -
10 Dec 2012
S Neales
Location: Zeehan, Tasmania, Australia

Songbirds: Scared to Death

... A new study shows that the mere sound of predators reduces both the number and survival rate of songbird offspring, regardless of the true threat. The finding could have important implications for managing wildlife, not just for protecting songbirds but for a host of other species.

... Female birds exposed to the sounds of predators showed drastic changes in behavior. They built nests in denser and thornier plants, spent more time watching for predators and less time collecting food, and produced fewer eggs—something that has been linked to lower food consumption in the past. Once their eggs hatched, the mothers provided less food to their nestlings—making fewer than eight feedings trips an hour, on average, as opposed to the standard 11, and only straying half the distance from the nest as usual to find food-and fewer babies survived. In all, the birds exposed to predator sounds produced 40% fewer fledglings than birds exposed to nonpredator sounds, the team reports online today in Science.

Science -
08 Dec 2011
SCP Williams
Cited Journal Article HERE


Photo courtesy of The Guardian's Week in Wildlife