April 10, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Polar Bears Show Signs of Mysterious Illness

Biologists have found Polar Bears in the Beaufort Sea with hair loss and skin lesions. Those are the same symptoms that have sickened ice seals and walruses in the arctic since last summer and led the federal government to declare the incident an unusual mortality event. Scientists are just beginning an investigation into whether polar bears are suffering from the same thing...

So far, the field scientists have found hair loss on nine of the 33 bears they’ve captured. The bears have skin lesions on their head, neck and ears. Degange says they have found polar bears with similar symptoms since 1999, but the number of effected bears makes this year unusual...

Alaska Public Radio - www.alaskapublic.org
06 Apr 2012
A Feidt
Photo courtesy of USGS
Location: Beaufort Sea, Alaska, USA - Map It    
View past story on the Digest's Disease News Map HERE   

Despite Deadly Fungus, Frog Imports Continue

A clerk serving Cantonese-speaking customers at a cluttered market in San Francisco’s Chinatown reached into a tub of American bullfrogs.... The frog cost about $4....

Tests on the bullfrog by Raul Figueroa, a researcher at San Francisco State University, confirmed that it was infected with an invisible but virulent fungus. The chytrid skin fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or B.d., is harmless to humans but may have wiped out hundreds of amphibian species. Two other bullfrogs that The Bay Citizen bought from other Chinatown markets also tested positive.

... Scientists and conservationists fear that the global trade could lead to the extinction of countless species of frogs and salamanders. Amphibians play subtle but substantial roles in California’s ecosystem, eating insects and feeding wildlife.

The New York Times - www.nytimes.com
07 Apr 2012
J Upton
Photo courtesy of Adithya Sambamurthy/The Bay Citizen
Location: California, USA

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