April 12, 2013

Call out for reports of dead birds urgently needed! and more wildlife disease news stories


Spread the word: reports of dead birds urgently needed!

A post from our friends at SEANET. If you are not a member of this project, you can still help.  They need you to report your findings of dead birds to the Wildlife Health Event Reporter (WHER) at www.wher.org in order to capture information about these events in one place. Then, they can begin to map these events and gain a better understanding of what is happening. If you need assistance with WHER email us at wher@wdin.org.
As we are scrambling to keep tabs on mortality events involving puffins, razorbills and common loons from Florida to Maine, some of our colleagues have an eye toward writing up these strange occurrences both for immediate release to the public, as well as for future, more measured (and peer-reviewed) scientific articles.

While we are actively performing necropsies to try to determine cause of death in any fresh specimens found, a major focus of the work right now is simply getting a handle on how many birds are dying or have died, what species, where and when. I have email chains and voicemail messages, and facebook posts and blog comments from all over the east detailing dead birds discovered on beaches, and I am determined to get these reports all funneled into a single database that is publicly available for all to see.

That single resource is the Wildlife Health Event Reporter. It takes only a moment to set up a (free) username and password, and it is simple to use. You can even upload photos (assuming they aren’t too big). If we can get everyone to report to this one place, we can start to map what’s really happening out there.

SEANET Blog - seanetters.wordpress.com
10 Apr 2013

China eyes birds as H7N9 source as human cases rise to 33

... Earlier notifications of bird and poultry H7N9 findings involved only markets in Shanghai, according to previous OIE reports. The disease has been difficult to track in poultry, because the virus is low pathogenic in birds, and they don't show signs of disease.

Meanwhile, researchers from a Chinese biology lab said today that the H7N9 virus is a reassortment of viruses from wild birds in East Asia and chickens from east China, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported today.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology said their analysis found no links to pigs, which would exclude them as intermediate hosts, according to the report.

Scientists surmised that genetic reassortment probably occurred in east China's Yangtze River Delta area, which encompasses Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu. They said a virus carried by wild birds from South Korea and nearby regions mingled with ducks and chickens in the delta area during migration.

The group reported that the H7 and N9 gene segments resemble those seen in East Asian wild birds and that the other six genes have links to chickens in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu, Xinhua reported.

China's wildlife conservation centers have bolstered their bird monitoring efforts to see if birds currently migrating from the south to the north are carrying the virus, amid fears that it could spread to the country's northern provinces, according to a separate report from Xinhua today. About 10 centers are monitoring the virus, including one in north China's Hebei province.

CIDRAP - www.widrap.umn.edu
10 Apr 2013
L Schnirring

Other H7N9 News

Deadly Disease Hits Home of America's Largest Colony of Endangered Gray Bats

Alabama's Fern Cave Also Hosts up to 1 Million Endangered Indiana Bats

The devastating bat epidemic known as white-nose syndrome has reached the home of the world’s largest wintering colony of endangered gray bats and as many as a million endangered Indiana bats. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials announced today that the fungal disease, which has killed nearly 7 million bats in 22 eastern states and five Canadian provinces since 2006, has been documented in Fern Cave on Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alabama, which was created to protect gray bats. In announcing the discovery, the Service said the latest cases were “extremely alarming and could be catastrophic.”

“With this one cave containing more than a third of the world’s gray bats, all the alarm bells should be going off,” said Mollie Matteson, a bat specialist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “White-nose syndrome is now threatening the very survival of the gray bat and several other species.”

Center for Biological Diversity - www.biologicaldiversity.org
08 Apr 2013
Location: Fern Cave on Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama, USA - Map It

More White-Nose Syndrome News

Amphibian Health News
One Health News Corner
CCWHC Blog - healthywildlife.ca
Huh?! That's Interesting!

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