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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
July 1995 to September 1995

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CA Camp Pendleton 07/08/95-07/31/95 Least California Tern 900 (e) Emaciation NW
CA Point Reyes Area 07/07/95-08/10/95 Common Murre; Cassin's Auklet 1,500 (e) Emaciation NW
CA Lower Klamath NWR 07/19/95-09/15/95 Mallard; Gadwall; American Coot; Green-winged Teal 10,000 (e) Botulism type C NW
CA Long Beach Naval Station 08/11/95-09/09/95 Black-crowned Night Heron; Great Blue Heron 30 (e) Steatitis NW
CA Riverside County 07/24/95-09/09/95 Mallard; Black-necked Stilt 60 Open NW
CA Salton Sea NWR 08/22/95-10/26/95 American White Pelican; Black-necked Stilt; Brown Pelican; Great Blue Heron; Ring-billed Gull 10 (e) Botulism type C NW
CA Monterey Harbor 07/16/95-07/22/95 Southern Sea Otter 10 Open NW
CA Sacramento NWR 09/02/95-10/31/95 Northern Pintail; Green-winged Teal; Cinnamon Teal; Northern Shoveler; Mallard 45 Botulism suspect NW
CA Old Dad Mountains San Bernardino 08/15/95-09/05/95 Bighorn Sheep 38 Botulism suspect/ Botulism type C/ Drowning CFG
CA Concord, Ellis Lake 07/18/95-08/28/95 Mallard; Hybrid Mallard 30 (e) Botulism type C CFG
CA Fresno, Roeding Park 08/09/95-08/24/95 Hybrid Mallard 50 (e) Botulism type C CFG
CA Lamar Naval Base 07/18/95-07/18/95 Mallard; Ruddy Duck; Cinnamon Teal; Unidentified Shorebird 91 Botulism suspect CFG
CA Orange County, Anaheim Lake 07/28/95-07/31/95 Mallard; Double-crested Cormorant; Black-necked Stilt; Snowy Egret; Hybrid Mallard 32 Botulism type C CFG
CA Kern County 08/02/95-08/02/95 Northern Pintail 2 Botulism type C CFG
GA Lake Tachukaluka 07/27/95-07/28/95 Canada Goose; Mallard; Unidentified Duck 21 Toxicosis: diazinon SC
ID Cassia, Lake Walcott; 08/12/95-09/08/95 Mallard; Unidentified Duck; American Coot; Gadwall; Green-winged Teal 161 Botulism type C ID
ID Ada County, Indian Creek Reservoir 07/12/95-07/13/95 Killdeer; American Bittern; Wilson's Phalarope; Common Snipe; Long-billed Dowitcher 39 Open NW
IL Carol Stream 07/06/95-09/07/95 Mallard; Unidentified Shorebird; Lesser Yellowlegs; Spotted Sandpiper 144 Botulism type C NW
IL Bloomington 08/08/95-08/11/95 Unidentified Duck 52 Toxicosis: diazinon UIL
IL Orland Park 07/22/95-07/25/95 Mallard; Canada Goose 10 Botulism suspect IL
IL Arlington Heights 07/12/95-07/13/95 Mallard 40 (e) Botulism suspect IL
IL Evanston 08/08/95-08/08/95 Ring-billed Gull 25 (e) Open IL
IL Orland Park 08/05/95-08/07/95 Mallard 12 Botulism suspect IL
IL Wheeling 08/03/95-08/03/95 Mallard 5 Botulism suspect IL
IL Willowbrook 08/07/95-08/07/95 Mallard 20 (e) Botulism suspect IL
IL Arlington Heights 08/08/95-08/08/95 Mallard 15 Botulism suspect NW
IL Bensenville 09/19/95-10/10/95 Mallard 40 (e) Botulism type C NW
IN Indiana Lakeshore 07/10/95-08/03/95 Ring-billed Gull 24 Open NW
KS Shawnee County 06/02/95-06/13/95 Common Grackle; European Starling 10 Fat depletion NW
KS Cheyenne Bottoms WMA 08/19/95-09/25/95 American Coot; Redhead; Gadwall; Northern Shoveler; White-faced Ibis 260 Botulism type C NW
LA Plaquemines Parish 08/01/95-09/10/95 Laughing Gull 100 Botulism type C NW
MA Boston 08/19/94-08/26/94 Mallard 13 Botulism type C NW
MI Wyoming 09/12/95-09/16/95 Mallard 40 Botulism type C RL
MI Troy 08/17/95-08/21/95 Mallard 16 Botulism type C RL
MI Rockwood 06/27/95-06/28/95 Mallard 2 Botulism type C RL
MN Middle River 09/21/95-10/12/95 Mallard; Unidentified Duck; American Wigeon; Ring-necked Duck; Redhead Duck 758 Botulism type C NW
MN Sherburne NWR 09/06/95-09/20/95 American White Pelican 8 Trauma MN
MO Viking Lake 07/06/95-07/07/95 Canada Goose 17 Toxicosis: organophosphorus compound NW
MT Medicine Lake NWR 07/12/95-09/27/95 American Coot; Mallard; Green-winged Teal; Gadwall; Northern Pintail 1,304 Botulism type C NW
MT Bowdoin NWR 07/13/95-10/11/95 Green-winged Teal; Mallard; Gadwall; Northern Pintail; Blue-winged Teal 2,701 Botulism type C NW
ND Lake Sakakawea 07/10/95-08/10/95 Ring-billed Gull 280 (e) Salmonellosis/ Botulism type C/ Chlamydiosis suspect NW
ND Devil's Lake WMD 07/10/95-08/01/95 Franklin's Gull 200 (e) Open NW
ND Long Lake Complex 08/15/95-10/01/95 American Coot; Mallard; Gadwall; Blue-winged Teal 30 (e) Botulism type C NW
ND Lake Alice NWR 08/25/95-10/01/95 Green-winged Teal; Gadwall; Wilson's Phalarope; American Coot; Short-billed Dowitcher 200 (e) Botulism type C NW
ND Robinson, Horsehead Lake 08/01/95-10/01/95 Green-winged Teal; Sandhill Crane; Unidentified Shorebird; Canada (Giant) Goose; Blue-winged Teal 16,600 (e) Botulism type C NW
NJ Westville 07/22/95-08/01/95 Canada Goose; Laughing Gull; Mourning Dove; Rock Dove; Mallard 5 Toxicosis: petroleum (oil) TS
NV Reno 08/25/95-09/30/95 Mallard; Green-winged Teal; Blue-winged Teal; Ruddy Duck; Northern Shoveler 400 (e) Botulism type C NW
NY Suffolk County 08/02/95-08/17/95 Canada Goose; Mallard; Pekin Duck 47 Emaciation NW
OH Big Prairie, Odell Lake 08/10/95-08/10/95 Domestic Duck; Mallard 30 Toxicosis: organophosphorus compound NW
OH Clermont County 09/22/95-09/26/95 Brown-headed Cowbird; House Finch 16 Toxicosis: carbamate compound NW
OH Sydney 07/13/95-07/14/95 Canada Goose 26 Open NW
OH Union 09/08/95-09/10/95 Mallard 18 Botulism type C NW
OH Grand Lake 08/17/95-08/17/95 Mallard 12 Open NW
OR Lake County, Summer Lake WMA 07/28/95-08/01/95 American Avocet 34 Botulism type C NW
OR Multnomah, Smith/Bybee Lakes 09/12/95-09/26/95 Mallard; Domestic Goose 26 Aspergillosis NW
PA Fountain Hill 07/30/95-07/30/95 Domestic Hybrid Duck; Mallard 11 Open NW
PA John Heinz NWR 08/08/95-08/30/95 Wood Duck; Mallard; American Black; Least Bittern; Green-winged Teal 124 Botulism type C NW
SD Lowry, Swan Lake 07/10/95-09/26/95 Unidentified Duck; Mallard; Northern Pintail; American Coot; Green-winged Teal 3,584 Botulism type C NW
SD Waubay, Bitter Lake 08/11/95-09/05/95 Blue-winged Teal; Mallard; Gadwall; Northern Shoveler; Unidentified Shorebird 3,933 Botulism type C NW
SD Roberts County, Mud Lake 08/23/95-08/25/95 Blue-winged Teal; American Wigeon; Mallard 50 (e) Botulism type C NW
SD Sand Lake NWR 07/30/95-09/01/95 Franklin's Gull; Gadwall; Blue-winged Teal; Mallard 10 Botulism type C NW
SD Huron WMD 09/01/95-10/10/95 Unidentified Teal; Northern Pintail; Mallard; Wood Duck; Unidentified Duck 275 Botulism type C NW
SD Watertown, Long Lake 09/05/95-09/29/95 Blue-winged Teal; Northern Shoveler; Green-winged Teal; Mallard; American Coot 3,564 Botulism suspect NW
TX Nueces County 04/28/95-05/16/95 Brown Pelican 6 Emaciation NW
TX Galveston County 09/09/95-ongoing Black-necked Stilt; Snowy Egret; Tricolored (Louisiana) Heron; Blue-winged Teal; Mottled Duck 4,250 Botulism type C NW
UT Bear River Mig. Bird Refuge 07/27/95-09/26/95 Green-winged Teal; Northern Shoveler; Northern Pintail; White-faced Ibis; American Coot 1,058 Botulism type C NW
VA Mechanicsville 09/17/95-09/20/95 Mallard; Muscovy Duck; Pekin Duck 10 Botulism type C NW
WI Little Lake Butte des Mort 08/22/95-09/03/95 Mallard; Wood Duck; Double-crested Cormorant; Domestic Duck; Canada Goose 384 Botulism type C WI
WI Onieda 08/18/95-08/18/95 Unidentified Gull 9 Salmonellosis WI
WI Milwaukee 09/08/95-09/20/95 Mallard 35 Septicemia WI
Pakowki Lake ALB 07/10/95-10/01/95 Green-winged Teal; Northern Pintail; Mallard; Unidentified Shorebird; Unidentified Heron 200,000 (e) Botulism type C ALB
NWT Banks Island 06/15/95-07/05/95 Snow Goose; Pomarine Jaegar; Sandhill Crane; Glaucous Gull; Black Brant Goose 15,000 (e) Avian cholera NW

(e) = estimate; * = morbidity and mortality

National Wildlife Health Center (NW); University of Illinois (UIL); Illinois Department of Conservation (IL); Rose Lake Wildlife Disease Center - Michigan (RL); Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN); Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research Inc. - Newark, Delaware (TS); Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI); Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SC); Alberta Natural Resources Service (ALB); California Department of Fish and Game - Wildlife Investigations Laboratory (CFG); Idaho Department of Fish and Game - Wildlife Health Laboratory (ID).

Written and compiled by Gregory Kidd, NWHC. The Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report is available at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov. To report mortality or receive information about this report, contact the above NWHC staff, e-mail: kathy_converse@usgs.gov., or for Hawaiian Islands contact Thierry Work. Phone: (608) 270-2400, FAX: (608) 270-2415 or write USGS National Wildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711.

Quarterly Mortality Reports

The following highlights wildlife mortality reported to the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) from July to September 1995. Seventy two epizootics were reported this quarter; botulism accounted for 63% with losses of more than 249,000 birds.

The Canadian Province of Alberta's Natural Resource Service reported that an estimated 200,000 ducks, shorebirds, raptors, herons and gulls, died from botulism type C on Pakowki Lake (native for "bad water") in southeast Alberta. Botulism caused the death of 31,000 waterfowl on this shallow lake in 1994. This is the largest reported loss of waterfowl in Alberta. It is speculated that blue-green algae poisoning may have been a contributing factor. Despite regular carcass pickup, mortality remained very high (5,000 birds/day) throughout August. A task force is being set up to examine options for management to attempt to deter such losses in future years.

In late July, NWHC received a report of gull mortality on Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota along the shore of a recreational area. Over 200 sick or dead gulls were collected around a boat ramp, fish cleaning station and picnic area. Clinical signs included lethargy, hunched stance, droopy wings and crusty eyes. Chlamydiosis was suspected in the gulls because an outbreak of chlamydiosis occurred in 1986 in gulls nesting on islands in this lake. Two of thirteen carcasses necropsied at NWHC had gross lesions suggestive of chlamydiosis, however, Chlamydia was not isolated by the USDA, National Veterinary Services Laboratory. Salmonellosis and botulism type C were diagnosed in two gulls. Approximately 280 carcasses were collected and incinerated using precautions to reduce the potential of exposure to chlamydia, a human pathogen.

The California Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Investigation Laboratory reported mortality in desert bighorn sheep in the Old Dad Mountains, San Bernardino County, California. Twenty five sheep were found dead in the vicinity of a guzzler (a water catchment system for the sheep) and thirteen decomposing lambs were found inside the water tank. Type C botulism toxin was detected in the heart blood of the one sheep suitable for necropsy. Type C toxin was also detected in fly larvae collected from dead lambs inside the tank, although all water samples were negative. Investigators speculate that Clostridium botulinum toxin was produced in the lambs that drowned. Toxin present in either the water or fly larvae was then consumed by adult sheep using the guzzler. This is the largest documented mortality event in desert bighorn sheep and the first report of type C botulism in this species.

Steatitis was confirmed in immature great blue and black-crowned night herons that died between April and September, 1995 in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California. Despite extensive field investigations by the US Fish and Wildlife Environmental Contaminants personnel and personnel from the Long Beach Naval Station, the etiology of this disease remains unknown. The cause of steatitis diagnosed in herons submitted from Point Loma, California in 1993 and 1994 also remains a mystery.

In mid-July 1995, a research scientist from NWHC traveled to Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada as part of an ongoing avian cholera project. Collaborating Saskatchewan graduate students on site reported that an estimated 15,000 snow geese and a few jaegars, cranes and gulls died between June 15 and July 5. Research personnel submitted bones of decomposed geese to NWHC. Pasteurella multocida, serotype 1, was isolated from 12/40 bone marrow samples.

Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research reported mortality associated with a spill of approximately 500 barrels of a relatively light, highly paraffinic crude oil, at a dock in Westville, New Jersey. Of the 65 oiled birds collected and treated, only five died from oil exposure. Successful treatment of oiled birds was due to the type of oil spilled and rapid response by Tri-state, the owners of the dock, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and concerned citizens.

For additional information please contact Dr. Scott Wright, USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Disease Investigations Branch Chief, at 608-270-2460 or Paul Slota, USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Support Services Branch Chief at 608-270-2420.

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