April 19, 2013

Salmonellosis Affects Redpoll Birds Throughout New York State and more wildlife disease news


DEC Reports: Salmonellosis Affects Redpoll Birds Throughout New York State

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has confirmed that Salmonellosis, an infection with the bacteria Salmonella, has been the cause for mortality in Common Redpoll birds throughout the state during the last few months....

"Numbers of dead redpolls have been observed at birdfeeders throughout New York," said DEC's Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources Kathleen Moser. "Redpolls are especially susceptible to salmonellosis during late winter months. This winter, we've seen particularly large numbers of redpolls in New York that moved south from Canada during cold winter temperatures. This mortality incident will abate once the remaining redpolls migrate north with the warmer weather."

During the last few months, numerous homeowners reported dead or dying redpolls at birdfeeders. DEC wildlife biologists collected specimens in the Western New York area and submitted the specimens to DEC's Wildlife Health Unit for necropsy. Analysis indicated that lesions and culture on the affected specimens were consistent with salmonellosis. Since then, reports of salmonellosis have been documented in numerous locations around the state.

New York Dept of Environmental Conservation
15 Apr 2013

Seabirds affected by second wave of sticky pollution 'could number thousands'

Wildlife agencies warn that the numbers of birds affected could be far greater than those harmed earlier this year

The numbers of seabirds affected by a sticky substance in the sea off south-west England over the past week could be far greater than those harmed by a similar – or possibly the same – spill earlier this year.

Wildlife agencies in Devon and Cornwall said numbers of birds killed or rendered helpless could reach "thousands" and that "a whole generation of seabirds" may have been wiped out in a single pollution incident.

Dead and distressed birds have been washing up along beaches in Devon and Cornwall since the middle of last week, covered in a sticky substance that has been confirmed as polyisobutylene, also known as PIB or polyisobutene, an oil additive often used to improve the performance of lubricating oil and in products ranging from adhesives to sealants and chewing gum. Affected species include razorbill, puffin and gannets, but predominantly guillemots.

The Guardian
17 Apr 2013
J Aldred
Location: View location of cases on the Global Wildlife Disease News Map 

Lead bullet fragments poison rare US condors

Conservationists in the United States say that fragments of lead ammunition continue to take a desperate toll on one of the country's rarest birds. Since December, seven wild California condors from a population of 80 have died in the Grand Canyon area. Three of the deaths have been definitively linked to ingesting lead from bullets in the carcasses of prey.

Campaigners are calling for a ban on the use of lead ammunition on public lands.... In an effort to save the high flying species, 166 of the birds have been reintroduced in Arizona and Utah since 1996.

Of these, 81 have died or disappeared. But experts believe that at least 38 of the birds have died as a result of eating lead fragments left in the guts piles and carcasses of game, shot by hunters. Condors are scavengers and mainly eat large amounts of carrion.

BBC News
17 Apr 2013
M McGrath
Location: Grand Canyon, USA

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