May 10, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Wildlife officials probe mysterious brown pelican deaths in Brevard

State wildlife officials are investigating a spate of sudden brown pelican deaths along the Indian River Lagoon. Four brown pelicans were reported dead on May 3 in a private pond in Rockledge.

Remains of the birds have been sent to a state research laboratory in Gainesville for testing....“The birds had no external signs of injury,” said Kevin Baxter, spokesman for the state’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

...Local officials have reported about a dozen brown pelican deaths in the region during the past month. There have been no reported fish kills, algae blooms or other toxic events that could trigger a bird die off, Baxter said.

Floridia Today -
09 May 2012
J Waymer
Location: Florida, USA - Map It

Healthcare for the US Navy's animal warriors could help people stay healthier

Military patrol dogs with your keen sense of smell, step aside. The U.S. Navy has enlisted the biological sonar and other abilities of bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions to protect harbors from enemy swimmers, detect explosives on the seafloor and perform other tasks. An article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) focuses on the Navy's health program for marine mammals and how it may also help keep people healthy.

C&EN Associate Editor Lauren K. Wolf explains that the Navy invests a lot of time and money in training these animals and, naturally, wants to keep them in tip-top shape when they deploy to places like Iraq or Korea....

When one of the roughly 120 animals gets sick, a team of veterinarians carefully evaluates and treats its illness. Because of the Navy's medical care, the animals are living two and three times longer than is common in the wild, leading to illnesses also seen in older humans, like high cholesterol and chronic inflammation. Wolf reports that the Navy is looking to apply its growing understanding of ailments in marine mammals to develop advances in human medical care.

EurekaAlert -
09 May 2012

Huh?! That's Interesting!

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