April 16, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Discovery of three dead dolphins on coastline alarms ecologists

Cause of the three mammals' deaths cannot be determined, experts say. The discovery of three dolphin carcasses at separate locations along the Dubai coastline in recent weeks has raised red flags with environmental marine experts.

No cause of death in all three specimens has been confirmed and marine scientists are sifting through a long list of possible causes to determine if the isolated dolphin incidents within days of each other share any possible links.

Basic physical examinations of the dolphin remains conducted by EMEG staff showed no obvious signs of injuries such as slashes from a boat propeller strike or collision, she said.

UAE Enivironment - gulfnews.com
12 Apr 2012
D Baldwin
Location: Palm Jumeirah, United Arab Emirates  - Map It

Wildlife Thriving After Nuclear Disaster? Radiation from Chernobyl and Fukushima Nuclear Accidents Not as Harmful to Wildlife as Feared

Radiation from the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents may not have been as harmful to wildlife as previously thought.

New research by Professor Jim Smith, of the University of Portsmouth, and colleagues from the University of the West of England has cast doubt on earlier studies on the impact on birds of the catastrophic nuclear accident at Chernobyl in April 1986.

Their findings, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, are likely to also apply to wildlife at Fukushima in Japan following its nuclear disaster in 2011 and represent an important step forward in clarifying the debate on the biological effects of radiation.

Science Daily - www.sciencedaily.com
11 Apr 2012

Cited Journal Article
J. T. Smith, N. J. Willey, J. T. Hancock. Low dose ionizing radiation produces too few reactive oxygen species to directly affect antioxidant concentrations in cells. Biology Letters, 2012; DOI:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0150

Researchers investigate how some bats survive with white-nose syndrome

Two Bucknell University biologists are leading an investigation into how and why some bats survive - and others die - when exposed to the tell-tale fungus that causes white-nose syndrome.

"This new grant allows us to really look at who has survived and why," said Reeder, who has received more than $1.2 million from various agencies to study white-nose syndrome during the past four years. "There are basically three choices: The survivors have gotten lucky and were never exposed, which is bad news because it means they will eventually be exposed. Or, there are things about them that make them resilient to exposure. Or, they have been exposed and are immunologically resistant."

Bucknell University - www.bucknell.edu
11 Apr 2012
J Ferrante

Other White-nose Syndrome News

USGS to study American Samoa wildlife deaths

The U.S Geological Survey is collaborating with the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources to understand causes of death of wildlife in American Samoa.

As part of this effort, the two agencies are asking the public to report any sick or recently dead wildlife to the territorial government. The specimens will be sent to Honolulu for tests to determine how they died.

USGS has examined 105 specimens from American Samoa including 55 birds, 30 mammals and 20 sea turtles

Wildlife Disease Specialist Thierry Work says the major causes of death are trauma and starvation but disease from various parasites and bacteria account for about a quarter of all deaths.

nola.com - www.nola.com
11 Apr 2012
Location: Territory of American Samoa, South Pacific Oceans

Anticoagulant Rodenticides (mouse and rat poison) Found as Cause of Death in Three of Four Red-tailed Hawks in Manhattan, April 10, 2012

Summary of Necropsy Report

Four adult red-tailed hawks found dead in Manhattan during the months of February and March 2012 were recently examined. Three of the birds had evidence of spontaneous bleeding, but no sign of significant trauma or injury. The fourth bird died from complications due to egg laying (oviductal prolapse), possibly exacerbated by hemorrhaging.

Toxicology tests for anticoagulant rodenticides (rat and mouse poison) revealed the presence of multiple compounds in the livers of three of the four birds. Difethialone was present in all birds and was the sole poison found in one of the hawks. In the other three birds, difethialone was accompanied by bromadiolone and brodifacoum rodenticides; diphacinone was also detected in one bird.

The presence of anticoagulant rodenticide combined with spontaneous hemorrhaging indicates that rodenticide poisoning was the cause of death in three hawks. It could not be determined as the sole cause of death in the fourth hawk due to the reproductive related injuries it sustained.

Dept. of Environmental Conservation - www.dec.ny.gov
10 Apr 2012
Location: Manhattan, New York - Map It

Sick Wildlife: Do You Know the Diagnoses? [Quiz challenge. Beat our score!]
How well do you know the diseases devastating wildlife?

Caves in eastern North America are being emptied of hibernating bats. Amphibians on several continents are vanishing. Infectious diseases are pushing some species to the brink of extinction or over it.

How well do you know the diseases devastating wildlife?

Photo courtesy of The Guardian

  • Experts to study new diseases [Unprecedented cross-border medical partnership, 17 research institutions from eight regional countries are teaming up for three long-term studies into emerging disease threats across Southeast Asia]
News about Coral

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