Diversity Defeats Disease
In a pond, more amphibian species mean decreased chances of disease spread.
The chance of a frog getting infected by a parasitic worm that causes limb deformities is less if it lives among a diverse array of pond mates that can also be infected, according to a study published today (February 13) in Nature. The report provides proof for the long-held theory that diversity drives down the spread of pathogens, and has implications beyond the pond, in human health and disease.
“This is the most complete study I’ve seen on biodiversity decreasing disease,” said Andrew Blaustein, a professor of zoology at Oregon State University, who was not involved in the study.
“The study is unusually comprehensive in combining field and lab and mesocosm—[controlled ecosystem]—studies,” agreed Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in Millbrook, New York, who also did not participate in the work. “It’s delightfully elegant in covering all the bases.”
Fatal Bat Disease Found in Two Kentucky State Parks
|White-nose syndrome map updated February 15, 2013. |
Source: Fish and Wildlife Service
Now, the disease has been found in seven Kentucky counties: Bell, Edmonson, Breckenridge, Trigg, Carter, Letcher and Wayne counties.
From the Kentucky Department of Parks:
Bats with the disease were found recently at Carter Caves, near Olive Hill, in caves that are not open to the public. The three caves where bats with the disease were found are Bat, Saltpetre and Laurel Caves, which were closed in 2008 as part of the effort to stop the spread of the fungus causing the disease.
Carter Caves is home to about 40,000 Indiana bats, which are federally endangered. The majority of those are found within Bat Cave, which is also part of the Bat Cave State Nature Preserve…
A bat with the disease also was found in January at Line Fork Cave at Kingdom Come State Park during a routine cave survey. The cave is gated and not open to tourists. This cave is in Letcher County, located inside the 225-acre Kingdom Come State Park Nature Preserve and is home to the federally protected Indiana bat.
Four New Positives Found in Trans Pecos CWD Surveillance
Disease not discovered outside Containment Zone
Nearly 300 tissue samples were collected from hunter harvested mule deer from the Trans Pecos ecoregion of far West Texas during the 2012-13 season for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing. Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory and National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) have confirmed CWD in four of those samples. All CWD-positive deer were harvested within the CWD Containment Zone.
Of 298 deer sampled during hunting season, 107 were harvested in the Containment Zone, 93 were harvested in the adjacent High Risk Zone, 25 were harvested in the Buffer Zone, and 73 deer were harvested outside of the CWD zones. Nineteen of the samples collected from the Containment Zone were from deer harvested in the Hueco Mountains.
“The good news is that CWD has not been detected in Texas outside of the Hueco Mountains of northern El Paso and Hudspeth counties,” said Mitch Lockwood, Big Game Program Director with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Including the two positives reported from TPWD’s strategic sampling effort last summer, and the three positives reported by New Mexico Game and Fish last year, CWD has been detected in 9 of 31 deer sampled in the Hueco Mountains.
Unglamorous vultures provide noble service to nature
Humans may not think much of a vulture’s appearance or its diet, but we owe a debt of gratitude to this common Ozarks bird.
Unless, that is, you’re someone who’s hoping for an increase in rabies. Or you want more cases of tularemia. Anyone for more canine distemper?
These are some of the wildlife diseases that are helped kept in check by the feeding habits of vultures. Vultures occasionally eat live prey, but the majority of their diet is carrion — “dead stuff.” It’s that food choice that causes many people to have a less-than-stellar opinion of these birds. While this may not seem like a glamorous diet, it’s a valuable one.
... One example is in India, where biologists think there’s a direct correlation between a decline in vultures in some parts of the country and an increased prevalence of rabies in those same areas.
OTHER WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
- Redfin dead in Lake Ginninderra fish kill [Lake Ginninderra, Australia - Map It ]
- Distemper Found in Foxes Near Flower Mound [Flower Mound, Texas, USA - Map It ]
- Sick Animal Concerns [Raccoons with Distemper and Leptospira] [Marion, North Carolina, USA - Map It ]
- Usutu Virus Highlights Importance of Disease Surveillance [HealthMap's The Daily News Blog]
Drugged Fish Lose Their Inhibitions, Get the Munchies [ Cited journal article ]
- Wildlife Veterinarian and Infectious Disease Researcher Dr. Jonathan Epstein [Interview]
- ProMED: Botulism, avian, fish [Comment][Australia]
- Icy Algae in a Changing Arctic [thinning ice are wreaking on the marine ecosystems]
- Governor names interim director of Department of Wildlife [Nevada, USA]
- Subic hosts 1st Mammal Stranding Symposium[Philippines]
- Invasive Species Threatening S. Fla. Wildlife, Economy [Florida, USA]
- Wyoming lawmakers cut back on wildlife, fire budgets [Wyoming, USA]
- Being There: Scientists Enlist Inuit for Long-Term Observations of Arctic Wildlife
- Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend
- The bug-hunters discovering new species in their spare time
- At the Movies: Citizen Science [An eclectic collection of videos on different citizen science projects]
- Is the new coronavirus the next SARS? [New Scientist]
- The Deadliest Virus [Harvard Magazine]
- Badger cull will not solve bovine tuberculosis problem in cattle, Durham University study claims
- Research Foundation for Tick-Borne Infections Fights Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Encephalitis with Pilot Studies