December 29, 2011

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


H5N1 found in 2nd dead bird in Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities say a second dead bird in a week has tested positive for a dangerous strain of bird flu, raising health concerns in the city.

The agricultural department said Friday that lab tests confirmed an Oriental magpie robin found dead on Dec. 17 was infected with H5N1 avian influenza.

... The Oriental magpie robin is commonly found in Hong Kong.

CBC News - [Source: Associated Press]
23 Dec 2011
Photo courtesy of CBC News
Location: Hong Kong, China - Map It

Scientists test sick Alaska seals for radiation

Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska's Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals' fur coats.

Biologists at first thought the seals were suffering from a virus, but they have so far been unable to identify one, and tests are now underway to find out if radiation is a factor.

Water tests have not picked up any evidence of elevated radiation in U.S. Pacific waters since the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused multiple fuel meltdowns at the Fukushima plant and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate the surrounding area.

Environmental News Network -
28 Dec 2011
Photo courtesy of Environmental News Network

Chronic Wasting Disease Found in San Juan Deer Hunting Unit

A deer infected with chronic wasting disease has been found in a new area of Utah. That's not a surprise, though, the new area is next to an area where the disease has been for years.

Technicians at the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Logan have finished testing tissue samples taken from more than 1,200 deer, elk and moose this fall.

...One of the deer that was taken on the San Juan deer hunting unit in southeastern Utah tested positive for the disease. This is the first time a deer from the unit has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

KCSG Television -
26 Dec 2011
M Hadley
Location: San Juan, Utah, USA - Map It

More Deer Disease News

>>> Deer test positive for chronic wasting disease [Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, USA - Map It - ]

>>>ProMED: Epizootic hemorrhagic disease, cervids [Archive #20111226.3680] [Virginia, USA]

Scientists hopeful in fight to stop bat die-off

Scientists studying the mysterious ailment that has killed millions of bats in an epidemic that is spreading its way across North America say they have detected a tiny sliver of hope in their search for a way to end what has become known as white nose syndrome.

...In New York, biologists have found that some bats at Fort Drum exposed to white nose are reproducing.

"While it's still too early to make any long-term conclusions from the recent Fort Drum white nose study, the Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraged over the finding that some bats can survive and reproduce despite exposure to the syndrome during winter hibernation over two consecutive years," said DEC spokesman Rick Georgeson.

...Darling said there are three basic hypotheses about the survivors that will be studied: Are the bats behaving in ways that keep them from getting infected? Are they from areas that haven't been infected? Could they have some genetic resistance to white nose that is just beginning to appear?

Matteson said that while the survivors are good news, much needs to be done to protect the survivors and make it possible for them to reproduce. One method being tried is the use of special bat boxes where the bats would be able to roost in the summer and keep warm when raising their young.

The Republic -
20 Dec 2011
Location: Vermont, USA

More Bat News


Ringing in the New Year with Some Good News about Wildlife