February 27, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Red tide toxin found in dead ducks

Fishermen working here recently saw five ducks fly directly into a building, killing themselves. Another 120 dead ducks were found over the last six weeks.

The birds’ carcasses were sent to a lab in Corpus Christi where biologists found the tissue contained brevatoxin, a potent neurotoxin associated with red tides.

Island Coastal Resources Manager Reuben Treviño said since the onset of red tide in September and October, gulls and pelicans have died, but the death of redhead ducks is abnormal. It isn’t immediately clear how the waterfowl are contracting the brevatoxin, he said.

“Redhead ducks winter here because of the sea grass. It’s what they feed on,” Treviño said. “So our next step is to collect sea grass samples from around the bay to determine if they are getting sick through the food web.”

The dying ducks aren’t limited to waters near South Padre Island. The entire 367-mile Texas coast is affected and reports of birds dying span the length of it.

The Brownsville Herald - www.brownsvilleherald.com
23 Feb 2012
Location: South Padre Island, Texas, USA - Map It

More Red Tide News

Trapped Dalmatian pelicans hand-fed in frozen Caspian Sea

Authorities in the southern Russian province of Dagestan are trying to save hundreds of rare Dalmatian pelicans trapped by unusually cold weather.

The birds migrated to the area near the city of Makhachkala last week.

About 20 birds have already died of hunger after the Caspian Sea froze over, local government spokesman Arslan Dydymov told the Associated Press.

. . . Mr Dydymov said hundreds of kilograms of fish had been bought every day by Dagestan's Nature Protection Ministry for the pelicans.

BBC News - www.bbc.co.uk
21 Feb 2012
Location: Dagestan, Russia - Map It

Photo courtesy of The Guardian feature The Week in Wildlife

It's Not All Bad News

No comments: