August 16, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Thousands of Dead Fish Wash Up on Galveston Island

Thousands of dead fish that washed ashore on Galveston Island over the weekend were killed by a toxic algal bloom, state officials confirmed Monday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said a bloom of Karenia brevis, also known as red tide, was found in Galveston Bay in concentrations high enough to kill the fish.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials began receiving reports of fish kills on Friday. The reports were from Quintana Beach to the mouth of the Colorado River and included mostly Gulf menhaden, also called shad, with a few mentions of gafftopsail and hardhead catfish.
dead fish

Additional fish kills were reported over the weekend at Surfside Beach and Galveston; samples were collected from the Surfside jetty and San Luis Pass to look for Karenia brevis.

In addition, fishermen reported coughing and dead fish 4 miles offshore of Galveston. Dead flounder and stingrays have been reported at Kemah and Bacliff.

Environment News Service -
13 Aug 2012

Protected Areas Allow Wildlife to Spread in Response to Climate Change, Citizen Scientists Reveal

A new study led by scientists at the University of York has shown how birds, butterflies, other insects and spiders have colonised nature reserves and areas protected for wildlife, as they move north in response to climate change and other environmental changes.

The study of over 250 species, led by researchers in the Department of Biology at York, is published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The conclusions were based on the analysis of millions of records of wildlife species sent in predominantly by members of the public.

The work represents a major new discovery involving collaborators in universities, research institutes, conservation charities, and regional and national government but -- crucially --fuelled by 'citizen science'.

Science Daily -
10 Aug 2012

Scientists find mutant butterflies exposed to Fukushima fallout

In the wake of last year's massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, the Fukushima nuclear power plant on the country's northeast coast barely avoided a complete meltdown. Tens of thousands of residents were displaced and officials assured the world that the release of harmful radiation posed little threat. Now a new paper published in Scientific Reports has found that this is likely far from the truth, as at least one species of butterfly from the surrounding area has suffered major damage stemming from radiation exposure.

Yahoo News -
15 Aug 2012
R Nelson
Location: Japan

Photo courtesy of the Guardian's Week in Wildlife 
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