September 20, 2013

Bats and snakes are the latest victims of mass killers in the wild and more wildlife disease news


Biologists probe ugly virus striking turkey population

Concerns over possible avian pox in Newington

Biologists with N.H. Fish and Game are investigating the presence of two viruses that appear to be having an ugly effect on the local wild turkey population.

Ted Walski, a turkey biologist with N.H. Fish and Game, said biologists are looking into episodes where they believe wild turkeys in Newington may have been infected with the avian pox virus or the lymphoproliferative disease virus.

Turkeys found last week were located near Fox Point Road in Newington, he said. Specimens from the dead turkeys have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing, he said.

"Not much is known about it," he said. "None of us know how long this may stay in the population."

Seacoast Online
13 Sep 2013
C McMahon
Location: Newington, New Hampshire, USA - Map It 

Hunters asked to forgo lead use

Ammo found in deer carcasses poisoning eagles

Experts examine the carcasses of dead bald eagles.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is encouraging hunters to voluntarily use non-lead ammunition, especially for deer hunting, in an effort to save bald eagles.

The agency collected 58 bald eagles in 2012 that had been found dead in various locations throughout the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, and examined them for lead exposure, the agency said Thursday in a news release.

... The eagles were sent to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., where “60 percent had detectable lead and 38 percent had concentrations within the lethal range for lead poisoning.”

Sauk Valley
13 Sep 2013
M Mencarini

[May be require to answer marketing question to read full article]

Viruses associated with coral epidemic of 'white plague'

They call it the "white plague," and like its black counterpart from the Middle Ages, it conjures up visions of catastrophic death, with a cause that was at first uncertain even as it led to widespread destruction – on marine corals in the Caribbean Sea.

Now one of the possible causes of this growing disease epidemic has been identified – a group of viruses that are known as small, circular, single-strand DNA (or SCSD) viruses. Researchers in the College of Science at Oregon State University say these SCSD viruses are associated with a dramatic increase in the white plague that has erupted in recent decades.

Prior to this, it had been believed that the white plague was caused primarily by bacterial pathogens. Researchers are anxious to learn more about this disease and possible ways to prevent it, because its impact on coral reef health has exploded.

12 Sep 2013

Bats and snakes are the latest victims of mass killers in the wild

Amy Smotherman Burgess/AP
Jeremy Coleman was on the trail of a ruthless serial killer, recently studying its behavior, patterns and moves at a Massachusetts lab. The more he saw, the more it confirmed a hunch. He had seen it all before. He was looking at a copycat.

The mass killer of bats under Coleman’s microscope, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has a lot in common with Chytridiomycosis, a mass killer of frogs and other amphibians. The culprits resemble a third killer, Ophidiomyces, which kills and disfigures snakes.

They are fungi, and they arrived in the United States from overseas with an assist from humans — through travel and trade. They prefer cold conditions and kill with precision, so efficiently that they’re creating a crisis in the wild.

The death toll among amphibians, bats and snakes from fungi represents “potential extinction events,” said Coleman, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife research biologist who coordinates the government’s response to the bat-killing infection known as white-nose syndrome. It’s so large, he said, that it can’t be measured “as far as numbers of dead organisms” and is “decimating populations as we know them.”

The Washington Post
15 Sept 2013
D Fears
Location: United States

News on Unusual Mortality Event in Mid-Atlantic Region
West Nile Virus
One Health News Corner
Huh?! That's Interesting!

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