May 21, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


[High dioxin levels in eggs of songbirds Dutch]
[Translated article]

In eggs of songbirds are embryonic abnormalities. A serious dioxin exposure appears to be responsible. This is evident from recent research by the Foundation Bargerveen the wheatear and meadow pipit. In the studied eggs of these birds were high concentrations of dioxins found. The research has focused on two Dutch nature reserves, the North Holland Dune Reserve and Aekingerzand, a drift sand area in Drenthe. The dioxins in the eggs are probably from inclusion insects that these toxins from the soil. The first results are published this week in the Journal for Nature, Forest and Landscape.
16 May 2012

Canine distemper 'outbreak' is confirmed in valley's foxes

Wildlife biologists are investigating an outbreak of canine distemper in the local fox population, and health officials are warning dog owners to vaccinate their pets against this often-fatal disease.

The virus has been confirmed in the carcasses of two gray foxes found dead in Ashland and one in south Medford over the past month.

According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, two more dead foxes picked up over the past week in Ashland were sent Wednesday to the Oregon State University Diagnostics Lab for testing.

Biologists also have fielded more than a dozen calls in the past two weeks regarding gray foxes displaying strange behavior, such as walking in circles, stumbling and foaming at the mouth.

"We've suspected distemper, and it's been confirmed," says Mark Vargas, the ODFW's Rogue District wildlife biologist. "Is it a pandemic? No. As of now? An outbreak.

"It's a wildlife issue, but it's also a public health issue in terms of pets," Vargas says.

Mail Tribune -
17 May 2012
M Freeman

Mass dolphin deaths in Peru caused by acoustic trauma

...Now the necropsy results are in, and there is unequivocal evidence that the dolphins were killed by an acoustic trauma, such as loud sonar or explosive blasts.... Dr. Llanos doesn't identify the source of the trauma, but all other tests (virus, contaminants, parasites etc) are not considered factors.

The following tissue samples, provided to Blue voice by Dr. Llanos show evidence of rapid ascent, (though the scientists are not willing to speculate on what caused the dolphins to race to the surface, their bodies are adapted to adjust to depth, and normally do not aggregate bubbles in their tissues).

Necropsies were performed on site. Macroscopic findings include: hemorrhagic lesions in the middle including the acoustic chamber, fractures in the periotic bones, bubbles in blood filling liver and kidneys (animals were diving, so the main organs were congested), lesion in the lungs compatible with pulmonary emphysema, sponge-like liver. So far we have 12 periotic samples from different animals, all with different degree of fractures and 80% of them with fracture in the right periotic bones, compatible with acoustic impact and decompression syndrome.

Digital -
17 May 2012
CC Whiting
Photo courtesy of Digital Journal
Location: Peru

Photo courtesy of The Guardian feature, The Week in Wildlife
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