January 5, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


State investigating deaths of 16 swans in Westborough

State biologists are unsure what caused the death of about 16 swans near Mill Pond late last month, but say it is unlikely the cause would be harmful to humans.

...Police say a caller reported seeing five to six dead swans floating in Mill Pond on Dec. 17. A total of 16 dead swans were located in the area, said Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife spokesman Reggie Zimmerman.

“The USDA Wildlife services have taken tissue samples (of the dead swans) and we’re waiting for some test results to come back,” said Heusmann “My suspicion would be it’s some sort of virus, but that’s total guesswork. We do know that they’re not being shot.”

...“I couldn’t totally rule out lead poisoning,” said Heussmann. “And botulism tends to be a warm weather disease, but there is the possibility.”

The MetroWest Daily News - www.metrowestdaily.com
04 Jan 2012
K Welch
Photo court
esy of MetroWest Daily News
Location: Westborough, Massachusetts, USA - Map It

[Mass death of birds discovered in east China Hebei][In Spanish]
Translation disclaimer

All were magpies were separated at a distance, many of the trees hung alone or in groups of two or three.

More than 100 dead birds, all magpies were found in plantations near Lake Hengshui in Hebei Province in eastern China. The bodies were hanging from trees.

The cause of death is unknown...await the outcome of investigations.

According to the publication "Yachzho dushibao" dead magpie found everywhere along 200 meters. The bodies of the birds were separated by a distance although in some places two or three together.

His eyes are open, legs spread open and without injury to the body. The local zoologist suggested that the cause of death of birds could be food poisoning which stressed the neighbors....

The Epoch Times - www.lagranepoca.com
28 Dec 2011
A Gubin
Photo courtesy of Epoch Times
Location: China - Map It

Herring galore as tonnes of fish wash up on beach

[Contributed by a Digest Reader!]

It was like Whisky Galore - except with fish. Locals taking a stroll at Kvennes beach in northern Norway were in for a surprise as they discovered a carpet of over 20 tonnes of dead fish covering the shoreline.

Fortunately, the low winter temperatures in the Nordesia region of Norway mean that the smell isn't too unbearable, according to dog-walker Jan-Petter Jorgensen, who took this photo.

Jens Christian Holst of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research is hoping to conduct tests on the fish to ascertain if they died as a result of disease. Other possibilities include being driven into shallow waters by predators, washed ashore during a storm, or even affected by freshwater flowing into the bay from a nearby river. "I have never seen such large amounts of stranded herring," said Holst.

New Scientist - www.newscientist
03 Jan 2012
A Purcell
Photo courtesy of Reuters/Jan-Petter Jorgensen/Scanpix)
Location: Norway - Map It

More Fish News
>>>Fish deaths dredge up Great Barrier Reef heritage row
[Gladstone, Queensland, Australia - Map It ]

>>>Whirling disease found in Strawberry Reservoir
[Utah, USA] [Update: previous article mapped here]

Photo courtesy of The Chronicle Herald
Deer Disease News

"Happy Birthday Endangered Species Act"
...38 years ago Richard Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act (ESA)... Currently, there are ~1,990 species listed under the ESA.