August 14, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Bird die-offs under investigation, clean-up efforts underway

Hundreds of double-crested cormorants and ring-billed gulls on Pigeon Lake in Meeker County and Minnesota Lake in Faribault County have died from an avian virus suspected to be Newcastle disease, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Final laboratory test results are expected later this month, said Erika Butler, DNR wildlife veterinarian.

As of last week, an estimated 700 cormorants, 100 pelicans and a small number of gulls, herons and egrets had been found sick and dead at Pigeon Lake, which is near Litchfield in west-central Minnesota. Fewer than 100 birds were affected at Minnesota Lake.

... Additional bird die-offs have been reported this summer on Leech Lake, Lake Vermilion and the Ontario, Canada, side of Rainy Lake. Test results are pending.

Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources -
07 Aug 2012
Location: Pigeon Lake - Map It and Minnesota Lake - Map It  Minnesota, USA  

DNR biologists continue monitoring for bass virus

A disease known as largemouth bass virus is affecting fish in at least four West Virginia lakes, and researchers are learning more about the illness.

Last year, Division of Natural Resources biologists discovered the presence of the virus in four lakes: Stonewall Jackson, Sutton, East Lynn and North Bend.

DNR researchers are now looking again to see where the virus is present. DNR tests show the virus is in places along the Ohio River.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting -
08 Aug 2012
B Adducchio
Location: West Virginia, USA

Marine species' deaths caused by UVB increases

Increased ultraviolet radiation has caused a sharp rise in the deaths of marine species, scientists have found. An international team gathered information from previous studies looking at the effects of ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation on marine life.

Their work shows a close link between UVB levels and death rate, particularly in algae, corals and crustaceans. The team believe this is the first time the effect of UVB on the health of marine ecosystems has been calculated.

"In our study, mortality is the biological response which showed the greatest sensitivity to UVB radiation," said lead author, Dr Moira Llabres from the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain, who worked on the paper with the Catholic University of Chile and the University of Western Australia.
BBC Nature News -
10 Aug 2012
M Bardo
Cited Journal Article
M Llabres et al. Impact of elevated UVB radiation on marine biota: a meta-analysis. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 2012; [Epub ahead of print]

Photo courtesy of MSN

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