October 11, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Plague detected on squirrel

Fleas infected with the plague bacteria were found on a squirrel in the San Jacinto Mountains, health officials announced Tuesday, Oct. 9.

...The squirrel was collected Sept. 6 at the Fern Basin Campground, north of Idyllwild, as part of routine testing, officials said. The campground remains open, but warning signs have been posted.

“We normally only close the campground if there is a high level of antibodies in the system (of the squirrel) and a high level of fleas,” Dottie Merki, Riverside County’s Environmental Health program chief, said by phone.

...The county is using the detection as an opportunity to “educate the public and remind them that plague is endemic in the area,” she said.

The Press-Enterprise
09 Oct 2012
G Wesson
Location: San Jacinto Mountains, California, USA  - Map It  ]

Moose hunt brings a bounty information for scientists

Maine's October moose hunt is in full swing, and not only are hundreds of bulls and cows being harvested, but a bounty of information about potentially deadly diseases is being gathered as well.

"We ended up deciding to take a look at both deer and moose as species we could use as surveillance projects, to look for the disease where it might be occurring and see if the disease is even happening in years where we don't have any human or livestock cases occurring," explained Chuck Lubelczyk, a biologist at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute's Vector Borne Disease Lab...."There could be animals, wildlife, dropping from these diseases every year. We never see them because they are out in the woods," said Lubelczyk. "It certainly has the potential to be a wildlife problem as well."

For the past few years, biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife have teamed up with researchers from Maine Med, college students and guides to gather blood samples from moose, deer and even some turkeys at tagging stations throughout the state to get a better handle on how widespread the problem is.

NBC WCSH Portland 6
09 Oct 2012
T Goff
Location: Maine, USA

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