March 12, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Sick Alaska seal shows possible spread of disease

Federal scientists said Wednesday that a nearly bald, lethargic seal recovered from the southeast Alaska coast showed the same symptoms of a disease that sickened ringed seals and Pacific walrus on the state's north coast last year.

... Believed to be a ringed seal, it suffered symptoms similar to the ones found in 60 dead seals and 75 diseased seals that were discovered along the Beaufort and Chukchi seas of northern and northwest Alaska beginning in July, according to a National Marine Fisheries Service statement. The areas where the latest animal and the seals were found last year are separated by thousands of miles of water.

"The seal, determined to be a yearling, exhibited almost total hair loss and nodular, ulcerated scabbed skin sores," said veterinary pathologist Kathy Burek-Huntington, who is part of an international group of experts working to the disease's cause. "These sores are consistent with the disease process we have been seeing in the ice seals in the North Slope and Bering Strait areas."

The Seattle Times -
07 Mar 2012
Location: Alaska, USA

Dolphins Washing Up Along Texas Coast

Local marine experts have a mystery on their hands, they're trying to determine why nearly three dozen dolphins have washed up along our beaches.

Since the first of the year, there've been at least 34 of those strandings from Corpus Christi to Port Aransas. Last year, at this time, there were just a handful, so why is it happening?

They aren't sure what's been going on because the testing on those mammals takes quite sometime to complete and there's no obvious signs, or clear cut reasons for their deaths.

... Also, there's been no evidence that the BP oil spill caused the deaths in any way, nor is the red tide being blamed.

3 kiii-tv -
07 Mar 2012
Location: Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, USA - Map It

Latest on chronic wasting disease found in Heartland deer Missouri

Two more captive white-tailed deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease. That announcement comes from Missouri conservation officials.

The Missouri Agriculture Department said the deer were killed at Heartland Wildlife Ranches in Macon County. The company has been testing and killing off its herd since a deer tested positive in October.

Heartland Connection -
08 Mar 2012
Location: Ethel, Missouri, USA - Map It


Photo courtesy of The Guardian's feature, Week in Wildlife

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