August 28, 2012

Today's Wildlife Health News Stories


Avian botulism hits Poplar Island birds

Poplar Island attracts hundreds of species of birds, from shorebirds to waterfowl to birds of prey. But some of them are in trouble.

Avian botulism is sickening and killing some of the shorebirds and waterfowl at Poplar, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services one of the government agencies involved in restoring the Chesapeake Bay island as a wildlife sanctuary.

... The concern started Aug. 2 when a black-neck stilt, a large black-and-white shorebird, was spotted with signs of avian botulism.

In recent weeks, biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Environmental Service have collected nearly 300 sick or dying birds, mostly sandpipers and mallards.

Capital Gazette -
25 Aug 2012
P Wood
Location: Poplar, Maryland, USA - Map It

Pesticides Endanger Bats

Bats are a highly threatened group of animals and many people are concerned with their conservation. The entire group of animals is protected in Europe. 10 of the 19 bat species native to Germany are already found on the red list of threatened species. Therefore it is worrying that bats are not included in the EU-wide authorization procedures for plant protection products.

A study by the University of Koblenz-Landau revealed that pesticide contamination of their diet can lead to long-term effects in bats.

Science Daily -
27 Aug 2012

Captive breeding last hope for Tassie devil

We've already lost 85 per cent of our devils to this disease. The disease has spread so rapidly and disastrously in the wild that we're less confident now than we were a year ago that devils will survive this epidemic.

A group of genetically different animals, once hoped to be resistant, are succumbing to the disease, and hope of naturally resistant animals in the wild is fading (although a tiny glimmer of hope remains with five animals who are still seemingly healthy after tumour regression).

Vaccine development takes time, and time is something the devils don't have.

The best thing we can do now is to support the captive insurance program. This program holds and breeds devils free from the disease in zoos and fauna parks — both in Tasmania and on the mainland — with the long-term goal of returning disease-free devils back into Tasmania.

ABC Science -
27 Aug 2012
Location: Australia


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