August 30, 2013

What's Killing Bottlenose Dolphins? Experts Discover Cause and more wildlife disease news


Eighty sea turtles wash up dead on the coast of Guatemala

Eighty dead sea turtles have been recorded since the first week of July on the country's southeastern beaches

An assortment of marine animals and birds reside along the black volcanic sand beaches of Guatemala's Pacific coast, but lately both residents and visitors on the southeast beaches of the country have observed a tragic event – the stranding of dead sea turtles.

Eighty dead sea turtles have been recorded since the first week of July on the beaches of La Barrona, Las Lisas, Chapeton and Hawaii according to a statement released by the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association (ARCAS), a Guatemalan non-profit organization formed by citizens in 1989.

The Guardian
28 Aug 2013
L Avery
Location: Guatemala - Map It 

NM Wildlife biologists investigating elk deaths

The Department of Game and Fish is investigating the deaths of more than 100 elk in northeastern New Mexico that may be linked to a virus. Department biologists traveled to the area in Game Management Unit 46 north of Las Vegas after the die-off was reported Tuesday.

Tissue samples and water samples from the area were taken and delivered to the state Veterinary Diagnostic Services laboratory for analysis. Wildfire officials say they're looking into all possible causes, including epizootic hemorrhagic disease.

Beaumont Enterprise
28 Aug 2013
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - Map It 

More Elk News

What's Killing Bottlenose Dolphins? Experts Discover Cause

The hundreds of bottlenose dolphin deaths along the U.S. East Coast are likely due to a disease outbreak called cetacean morbillivirus, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries announced today.

As of August 26, 333 dolphins have washed up dead or dying on beaches from New York to North Carolina, Teri Rowles, a coordinator with NOAA Fisheries marine mammal health and stranding response program, said at a press conference. Virginia seems to be a "hot zone," reporting 174 dolphin strandings as of Monday. (Take a look at the numbers, state by state.)

... "Along the Atlantic seaboard, this [outbreak] is extraordinary," Rowles said. The last morbillivirus outbreak in the region occurred from June 1987 to May 1988, and resulted in the deaths of at least 900 bottlenose dolphins. (Related:"U.S. Dolphin Deaths Rise to 300; Cause Still a Mystery.")

Officials are unsure of how long the current outbreak will last. "Typically, outbreaks will last as long as there are susceptible animals," Rowles said. But if it plays out like the 1987-1988 outbreak, "we're looking at mortality being higher and morbillivirus traveling southwards and continuing until May 2014," she added.

Right now, experts think this current outbreak is probably due to a dip in "herd immunity."

National Geographic
27 Aug 2013
JJ Lee
Location: USA East coastline


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