July 1, 2014

Disease Likely Explanation For Mysterious Bird Deaths and other wildlife health news


First diseased bat identified in Columbia area

A disease that is killing millions of bug-eating bats has shown up for the first time in Richland County, indicating the disorder could have broader impacts on the winged mammals than previously known.

Recent laboratory tests confirmed white-nose syndrome in a bat from a site in the Columbia-area, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

The discovery is significant because it indicates the possible spread of the disease away from the mountains and into other parts of South Carolina. That’s a concern, not only as a threat to the species itself, but because bats are natural exterminators.

The State
30 Jun 2014
S Fretwell

More White-Nose Syndrome News

Scientists Close In On What’s Killing Sea Stars

Some scientists see a connection between rising water temperatures and the wasting syndrome. The waters around the San Juan Islands tend to be colder than the Washington outer coastline where dying starfish were first reported last summer. Since the arrival of warmer weather this season, the syndrome has spread rapidly to areas like the San Juan Islands that were previously untouched by the syndrome. Recent reports have also surfaced of die-offs along Oregon's coastline.

“The period of time in which the disease progressed rapidly has been a period in which waters have been warmer than usual winter conditions," Blanchette said.

While scientists are reluctant to assign blame to climate change, Harvell explained that as oceans warm, outbreaks like this are more likely to occur.

"A warmer world would be a sicker world," Harvell said. "Under warming conditions a lot of microorganisms do better. They grow faster. They replicate faster. Many of our hosts can actually be stressed by warm conditions. And so it kind of creates a perfect storm of sickness."

Jefferson Public Radio
16 Jun 2014

Disease Likely Explanation For Mysterious Bird Deaths

The sudden and inexplicable deaths of dozens of birds is probably linked to a disease, says an Icelandic ornithologist.

“Everything points to a disease or some other contagion at work when many adult birds die within a short period of time,” said Gunnar Þór Hallgrímsson, an ornithologist and the director of the Southwest Iceland Nature Research Institute, to Vísir.

Gunnar points out that in other countries, mass bird deaths are more common, and are usually the result of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, better known as the organism which causes botulism.

Reykjavik Grapevine
17 Jun 2014
P Fontaine


Fish Die-off News

Hey! It Ain't All Bad News

No comments: