June 11, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Sellafield swallows contaminated by radioactivity: Birds nesting by the nuclear power plant have traces of radioactivity in their droppings

Swallows nesting at the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria have been contaminated with low levels of radioactivity from the site, according to the Environment Agency.

Monitoring by the site's operator, Sellafield Limited, has found traces of radioactivity in the birds' droppings. This is thought to come from the insects they have consumed around the storage ponds for radioactive waste.

The Guardian - www.guardian.co.uk
08 Jun 2012
R Edwards
Location: Cumbria, England

Honeybee virus: Varroa mite spreads lethal disease

A parasitic mite has helped a virus wipe out billions of honeybees throughout the globe, say scientists.

A team studying honeybees in Hawaii found that the Varroa mite helped spread a particularly nasty strain of a disease called deformed wing virus.

The mites act as tiny incubators of one deadly form of the disease, and inject it directly into the bees' blood.

This has led to "one of the most widely-distributed and contagious insect viruses on the planet".

BBC Nature News - www.bbc.co.uk
07 Jun 2012
V Gill

Florida Bat Survey Tests for White-Nose Syndrome and Bat Health

Well into the wee hours of night, for five successive evenings, teams of scientists from across the southeastern United States waited and watched as bats in the Apalachicola National Forest swooped down to feed on their insect prey only to be captured in sheer mist nets.

The scientific teams and U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologists were conducting bat surveys to test for white-nose syndrome and general bat healthiness throughout the region.

USDA Blog - blogs.usda.gov
08 Jun 2012
S Blake
Location: Florida, USA

Photo courtesy of The Guardian feature, Week in Wildlife
Harmful Algal Blooms

White-Nose Syndrome

Huh?! That's Interesting!

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