October 2, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Reports of massive coral deaths near Kauai

A mysterious coral die-off on Kauai’s north shore is prompting a team of scientists to take a closer look at what may be killing large areas of coral reef.... Lilley contacted scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey who've determined the diseased coral is different from what killed coral heads in Kaneohe Bay last year.

The Kauai outbreak is believed to be due to a type of cyano bacteria and fungus which has compromised the health of the reef, according to researcher Thierry Work. Work said he took samples from the reef earlier this month and will be back to collect more coral and fish to conduct toxicology tests.

... The Kauai resident is also concerned about what he saw on a recent dive where he documented evidence of diseased turtles and fish.

"The other day at Annini, we counted eight turtles,seven of the eight had eye infections, two had noticable tumors and oneof the eight, had its eyes missing completely," Lilley said.... But he has also been finding a growing number of sick puffer fish too. "The tobys are turning black. Their fins are turning black, and rotting and falling off, and then they die," said Lilley.

So, is there a connection between the diseased marine life and the distressed coral? A rapid response team of scientists is headed to Kauai next week to find out.

Yahoo News
21 Sep 2012
Location: Kauai, Hawaii, USA - Map It

Algae outbreak killing fish in Roosevelt Lake

Fish kills from golden alga have been confirmed at Roosevelt Lake and biologists are continuing to monitor the situation, advised Arizona Game and Fish Department officials.

... The current fish die off at Roosevelt appears to be lake wide, affecting primarily gizzard shad, a species that is sensitive to the golden alga toxin. Approximately 30 to 40 large (13- to 15-inch) dead gizzard shad in various stages of decay can be found throughout the lake on a regular basis.

“We suspect that threadfin shad, a fish that is also very sensitive to golden alga toxin, are also being impacted,” Dahlberg said. “However, because threadfin are so much smaller they are probably being rapidly consumed by birds and are not as readily observed as the larger bodied gizzard shad.”

Arizona Game and Fish Dept - azgfd.com
26 Sep 2012
Location: Roosevelt Lake - Map It

Fall Calls Bats to Hibernate, Scientists to Study Them

Although White Nose Syndrome has not yet been seen in Michigan, where nine species of bats are heading for their winter homes -- mostly in 75 or 80 abandoned mines in the western Upper Peninsula. And there, a team of researchers led by Joseph Bump of Michigan Technological University and Alexis Sullivan, one of his graduate students, is using a novel chemical "fingerprinting" technique called stable hydrogen isotopes to determine where the hibernating bats originated.

Sullivan and Bump reported in the July 2012 issue of the journal Ecological Applications on their use of stable hydrogen isotopes to track the travels of the little brown bats that hibernate in three mines in the western UP.

Science Daily - www.sciencedaily.com
28 Sep 2012
Location: Michigan, USA

More White-nose Syndrome News

University of Maine research tackles issue of lungworm in moose

In his tenure as the state’s top moose biologist, Lee Kantar has spent a lot of time doing “disease surveillance” on the state’s iconic land mammal.

But a recent University of Maine study of a contrastingly uncharismatic critter — the lowly lungworm — has begun to look at the worm’s role in moose mortality, and researchers have learned that even the subject of their study had been tentatively misidentified for years.

In short, recent UMaine graduate Darryl Ann Girardin and Anne Lichtenwalner, a veterinarian and assistant professor who serves as director of the UMaine Animal Health Laboratory, have found that there’s a new worm in town.

Bangor Daily News - bangordailynews.com
29 Sep 2012
J Holyoke
Location: Maine, USA


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