Biologists worried by starving migratory birds, seen as tied to climate change
At the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the tiny bodies of Arctic tern chicks have piled up. Over the past few years, biologists have counted thousands that starved to death because the herring their parents feed them have vanished.
Puffins are also having trouble feeding their chicks, which weigh less than previous broods. When the parents leave the chicks to fend for themselves, the young birds are failing to find food, and hundreds are washing up dead on the Atlantic coast.
What’s happening to migratory seabirds? Biologists are worried about a twofold problem: Commercial fishing is reducing their food source, and climate change is causing fish to seek colder waters, according to a bulletin released Tuesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“We’ve seen a 40 percent decline of Arctic terns in the last 10 years,” said Linda Welch, a Fish and Wildlife Service biologist at the refuge. Arctic tern pairs in Maine have fallen from 4,224 pairs in 2008 to 2,467 pairs last year, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.
'Roadkill map': Cardiff scientists ask public to report animal bodies
|Click to view larger image.|
The project, called Operation Splatter, is asking the public to sign up as "splatter spotters" and send their findings via social media. The team have already studied hundreds of otter carcasses found as roadkill.
...Visitors to the event were told that the research had found a number of disease-causing parasites in bodies of dead otters. The infection Toxoplasma gondii, which is spread in cat faeces, was identified in 39.5% of the otter carcasses examined.
Chronic Wasting Disease In May Be Impossible To Eliminate In Alberta, Saskatchewan Deer, Elk
Experts say it may not be possible to eliminate chronic wasting disease in deer and elk in Canada. The fatal infectious disease is so well established in Saskatchewan and Alberta that the federal government and some provinces are rethinking how to deal with what is commonly known as CWD.
In 2005, Ottawa announced a national strategy to control chronic wasting disease in the hope of finding ways to eradicate it. Now the emphasis is shifting to preventing CWD from spreading, especially in the wild.
"We have to realize that we may not be able to eradicate this disease currently from Canada, given that we don't have any effective tools, so we may be looking at switching from eradication to control," said Penny Greenwood, national manager of domestic disease control for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The agency says it is working with the provinces and the game-ranching industry to come up with a better plan, perhaps by next spring.
OTHER WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
- 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected [Wisonville, Oregon, USA - Map It ]
- Diseased bighorn sheep might have to be killed in Mojave National Preserve [California, USA - Map It ]
- Health Unit warns of raccoon distemper [View location of cases reported in the news in Ontario, Canada on the Global Wildlife Disease News Map ]
- No Malignant Catarrhal Fever in Bison Found in River [Suspect trauma][View location of cases reported in the news in Yellowstone River, Montana, USA on the Global Wildlife Disease News Map ]
- Beak Deformities [California Academy of Sciences]
- Avian salmonella outbreak killing birds [MFWP news release][View location of cases reported in the news in Montana, USA on the Global Wildlife Disease News Map ]
- Bat study seeks ‘citizen scientists’ [Can you help?][Maine, USA]
- Vancouver rats carry disease that can infect humans: Study shows some rodents on the Downtown Eastside carry leptospirosis [Canada]
- In New Tools to Combat Epidemics, the Key Is Context
- New Details About H7N9 Influenza Infections That Suddenly Appeared in China
- Student guest post: Mission Impossible: Fighting Zoonotic Infections in Nicaragua
- Wildlife officials warn of tularemia [Fairbanks, Alaska, USA - Map It ]
- VF&W works to recover Vermont’s timber rattlesnakes [Vermont, USA]
- Disease-Carrying Lone Star Ticks Spreading to New Areas of Northern and Central United States
- Snail genes reveal human migration to Ireland [Thank your fellow Digest reader for this one!]
- The therapeutic virtues of venom
- How to give a 1,500-pound manatee a heart exam [UN of Florida press release]