April 30, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


White Nose Syndrome Observed in Bats at C&O Canal National Historical Park

White-nose syndrome (WNS) was observed in Washington County, Maryland in an abandoned cement mine owned by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park during March 2012 bat surveys. Bats from the mine were not submitted for laboratory confirmation; however the disease was confirmed in Maryland-owned mines belonging to the same complex in spring 2011. White fungal growth indicative of WNS was observed on most little brown bats and tricolor bats hibernating in the cement mine.

Surveys conducted in the complex also documented a severe decline in the overall bat population from the previous five year average and the lowest number recorded since regular monitoring was initiated in 1998.

... “While the confirmation of white nose syndrome in the park is not a surprise because of the proximity of the disease discovered in Washington County in 2011, it is still a sad day for the resource,” said Kevin Brandt, Park Superintendent. “We will continue to monitor bat populations in our caves, tunnels and mines, and we hope to minimize WNS affecting other bat habitats outside of our boundaries”

White-nose Syndrome.org - www.whitenosesyndrome.org
24 Apr 2012
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Maryland, USA - Map It  

More Bat News

Officials: herd of 25 TB-infected wild bison may need to be killed in Poland

A herd of 25 wild European bison infected with tuberculosis should be killed to prevent the disease from spreading to other herds in southeastern Poland, officials said Monday.

A panel of 18 veterinary and breeding experts in Krosno have decided to ask national authorities for permission to kill the rare wild animals living near the village of Stuposiany in the Bieszczady mountains. The panel also suggested that research should start on anti-TB vaccination for bison.

The Washington Post - www.washingtonpost.com (Source: Associated Press)
23 Apr 2012
Location: Stuposiany, Poland - Map It

Rampant weeds giving wombats liver disease

Researchers think they have worked out why illness has been killing high numbers of southern hairy-nosed wombats in the Murraylands in eastern South Australia. Brigitte Stevens from the Wombat Awareness Organisation has documented finding about 2,800 sick wombats in the region.

..."It's not just a skin disease, it's actually a liver disease," Dr Boardman said.The researchers have concluded native grasses have disappeared under pressure from a range of potentially-toxic plants, such as onion weed. "We've found that they've had severely scarred liver as a consequence of eating these plants," Dr Boardman said.

ABC News - www.abc.net
13 Apr 2012
J Hancock
Courtesy of the Australian Wildlife Health Network
Location: Murraylands, South Australia - Map It

Algae Impacting Wildlife In Ohio Lake

Over the last few years toxic algae has been a big problem at Grand Lake Saint Mary's in Northwest Ohio.

... We know the blue-green algae can be deadly if humans ingest it but experts suggest it's causing another problem for wildlife in the water. William DeMott, IPFW Professor says, "The algae is really high and this can lead to low oxygen."

Which could be the reason so many dead fish are washing up on shore. DeMott says it wouldn't matter what type of algae it was, at high enough levels, it all leads to the same problem. Although, the director of the Grand Lake Saint Mary's State Park says the fish aren't being harmed.

Indiana News Center - www.indiananewscenter.com
25 Apr 2012
M Mespell
Location: Grand Lake Saint Mary, Ohio, USA

More Alga News

Scientists warn blackbird virus could return

Germany’s blackbirds are at risk from a new outbreak of a deadly virus this summer, experts have warned, after finding it in mosquitoes that have survived the winter. The Usutu virus was blamed for the deaths of many blackbirds last year, although it was only positively tested in 72 bird cadavers.

... NABU said a recurrence of the virus this year would depend on the weather and would show itself in blackbirds late in spring or summer. It could even be spread to neighbouring areas by the mosquito population.

The infection killed numerous birds last year, mostly in Baden-W├╝rttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. Scientists were alerted to the outbreak when reports of dead birds increased in these areas: 86 of the 223 birds tested were found to have the virus, of which 72 were blackbirds

The Local - www.local.de
12 Apr 2012
Location: Germany

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