November 12, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Crews investigating reports of oiled wildlife on St. Lawrence Island

The Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the mayors of Gambell and Savoonga established a unified command to investigate reports of oiled wildlife on the coast of St. Lawrence Island, Thursday.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Kodiak with a pollution observer aboard is scheduled to conduct an aerial survey of the area Thursday. The Coast Guard, ADEC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also plan on deploying investigators to the area Friday, to work with local guides to further investigate the possible source of the oil.

...The Coast Guard was initially notified of the oiled wildlife Wednesday from a representative of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. Oil samples sent back to Anchorage are currently being analyzed to narrow down a potential source.

There have been no reports of impact to endangered species in the area.

United States Coast Guard -
08 Nov 2012
Location: St Lawrence Island, Alaska, USA - Map It

Arctic Study Confirms Mother Whales Pass Contaminants To Fetus

Pregnant beluga whales pass to their fetus a portion of the persistent organic pollutants, PCBs and flame retardants, they carry in their bodies, report researchers who measured the chemicals in the animals’ blubber. The study is one of the first to show whales, like people, can transfer and expose their developing offspring to persistent contaminants, whose long-term health effects continue to remain unclear.

ENews Park Forest -
07 Nov 2012

Cited Journal Article
Jean-Pierre W. Desforges. (2012 Feb) Transplacental transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in arctic beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 31(2): 296–300

Bobcats and humans swap diseases in urban areas

Animals from densely populated areas more likely to carry parasites than rural kin

Bobcats that take up residence in urban areas not only share turf with humans but also diseases, a new study shows.

Researchers collected bobcat fecal samples from rural areas in Colorado as well as more densely populated regions on the Colorado Front Range, which includes cities such as Denver and Boulder, and in California's Ventura County, outside of Los Angeles. The samples were analyzed for disease-causing parasites, such as the mind-altering Toxoplasma gondii and two other bugs, Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp., which can upset the stomach and cause diarrhea.

Test results showed that bobcats from the more densely populated regions were more likely to carry parasites than their country counterparts.

MSNBC News -
06 Nov 2012

Cited Journal Article
Scott Carver. (2012) Zoonotic parasites of bobcats around human landscapes. JCM. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1128/​JCM.01558-12

Hepatic sarcocystosis in black bears: an emerging disease in British Columbia?

In July 2008, a mature captive male black bear resident in the lower mainland of the Fraser Valley was submitted to the Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford, BC for necropsy. The bear had begun to exhibit symptoms associated with severe illness.

Despite supportive therapy and antibiotic treatment, the bear died. Necropsy revealed that the bear was in good nutritional condition, but had damage to the liver associated with an infection of Sarcocystis canis, a protozoan parasite often found to cause disease in dogs.

Although S. canis had been previously reported to cause disease and death in American black bears, this was the first known occurrence of this disease in Canadian black bears.

CWHCC Healthy Wildlife -
08 Nov 2012
Location: Canada

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