November 6, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories

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Waterbird die-off hits Lake Michigan

In a dramatic scene along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Schoolcraft County, researchers have recently discovered the carcasses of nearly 700 dead waterbirds, thought to be the victims of Type-E botulism.

Similar large Lake Michigan bird die-offs were recorded in the Upper Peninsula in October 2007 and downstate near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in 2006.

"During two weeks in mid-October, a seven-mile stretch of beach near Gulliver amassed 413 carcasses, including 236 common loons," said Damon McCormick a loon researcher from Common Coast Research and Conservation. "This episode was preceded by a September mortality event that primarily involved horned and red-necked grebes."

The Mining Journal -
04 Nov 2012
J Pepin
Location: Schoolcraft County, Michigan, USA - Map It

Dead birds were intoxicated, an investigation finds

Young blackbirds found dead at a primary school in Cumbria suffered from alcohol poisoning, according to an investigation. Animal health specialists were called to examine a dozen birds found in the playground, many with trauma injuries.

Post-mortem analysis revealed that one of the birds had a large amount of pure alcohol in its liver. Scientists suggest the birds sustained their injuries in flight because they were intoxicated by fermented berries.

Staff from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) published their results in the Veterinary Record.

BBC Nature -
03 Nov 2012
Location: Cumbria, England - Map It

Cats new suspect in dolphin deaths

Kitty litter or droppings from ferals threat to endangered Maui's. A new suspect has emerged in the decline of the critically endangered Maui's dolphin - cats.

A parasite traced to cats has been identified as the primary cause of death in seven of 28 Hector's-type dolphins analysed by Massey University scientist Dr Wendi Roe.

Two of three Maui's, autopsied after they washed up dead on beaches, were found to have died primarily from toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the toxoplasma parasite.

New Zealand Herald -
03 Nov 2012
G Cumming
Location: Maui, New Zealand

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