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National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
July 1996 to September 1996

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Pribilof Islands 02/16/96-03/05/96 King Eider; Common Murre; Oldsquaw; Crested Auklet; Parakeet Auklet 1,146(e) Toxicosis: petroleum (oil) NW
AL Tuscallosa 08/14/96-08/20/96 Purple Martin 16 Bird deterrent suspect NW
CA Lower Klamath NWR; White Lake 07/10/96-10/01/96 Mallard; Northern Pintail; American Coot; Green-winged Teal; Northern Shoveler 8,220 Botulism type C NW
CA San Luis Obispo County 07/11/96-07/28/96 Southern Sea Otter 7 Open NW
CA Lake Tahoe 06/05/96-06/05/96 Canada Goose 8 Toxicosis: diazinon CA
CA Salton Sea NWR 08/10/96-11/12/96 Snowy Egret; Great Egret 45 Salmonellosis NW
CA Salton Sea NWR 08/01/96-11/12/96 American White Pelican; Brown Pelican; Great Egret; Ring-billed Gull; Unidentified Gull 14,109 Botulism type C NW
CA Sacramento NWR Complex 08/19/96-11/01/96 Mallard; Northern Pintail; Green-winged Teal; American Coot; Northern Shoveler 5,250(e) Botulism type C NW
CA Bishop Park 08/30/96-08/30/96 Hybrid Mallard 8 Botulism suspect CA
CA Cabrillo,Long Beach 07/26/96-07/30/96 Black-crowned Night Heron 5 Steatitis NW
CO Evergreen 07/01/96-08/30/96 Red Crossbill 50 Salmonellosis CSU
DC Washington Monument 09/19/96-09/19/96 Unidentified Warbler 35 Trauma suspect NW
DE Wilmington 08/08/96-08/13/96 Semipalmated Sandpiper; Lesser Yellowlegs 150(e) Open NW
IL Arlington Heights 07/16/96-07/16/96 Mallard 14 Botulism suspect IL
IL Chicago O'Hare Field 08/23/96-09/20/96 Mallard; Unidentified Shorebird; Blue-winged Teal 150(e) Botulism type C NW
KY Louisville Zoo 07/30/96-09/01/96 Mallard; Black-crowned; Night Heron; Wood Duck 44 Botulism type C NW
KY Crestview Hills 08/19/96-09/22/96 Mallard; Canada Goose; Domestic Duck; Domestic Goose 45 Botulism type C NW
KY Mammoth Cave National Park 08/22/96-08/29/96 Eastern Pipistrelle Bat 20(e) Predation NW
ME Belfast 08/27/96-09/10/96 Canada Goose 3 Open NW
MN Cyrus Lake 09/15/96-09/26/96 Wood Duck; Mallard; American Coot; Blue-winged Teal; Double-crested Cormorant 90 Botulism suspect NW
ND Horsehead Lake 07/09/96-10/03/96 Unidentified Duck; Unidentified Shorebird; Northern Pintail; Unidentified Bird; Green-winged Teal 8,369 Botulism type C NW
ND Lake Alice NWR 07/10/96-09/16/96 American Coot; Mallard; Northern Shoveler; Northern Pintail; American Wigeon 2,074 Botulism type C NW
ND Schnabel WPA, Lake Venturia 07/15/96-10/08/96 Unidentified Duck; American Coot; Unidentified Shorebird; Gadwall; Blue-winged Teal 6,951 Botulism type C NW
ND Chase Lake NWR 07/20/96-09/30/96 California Gull; Double-crested Cormorant; American White Pelican; Unidentified Shorebird; Marbled Godwit 775(e) Botulism type C NW
ND Valley City WMD; Ten Mile Lake 07/25/96-10/03/96 American Coot; Unidentified Waterfowl; Unidentified Gull; Unidentified Shorebird; Unidentified Phalarope 350(e) Botulism type C NW
ND Chase Lake NWR (Kutz WPA) 09/09/96-09/16/96 American Coot; Blue-winged Teal; Mallard 55(e) Botulism type C NW
ND Dewald Slough 08/02/96-09/09/96 Western Grebe; Mallard; American Coot; Unidentified Duck; Blue-winged Teal 199 Parasitism: Schistosomiasis NW
NE Crescent Lake NWR 07/22/96-08/19/96 Western Grebe; Ring-billed Gull 70 Botulism type C NW
NV Stillwater NWR 06/22/96-06/22/96 Muskrat 2 Open NW
NV Desert Shores 07/16/96-07/26/96 American Coot; Hybrid Mallard 8 Botulism suspect CA
OH Lake County 06/10/96-06/11/96 Canada Goose 10 Toxicosis: organophosphorus compound NW
OH St Mary's (Grand Lake) 08/20/96-09/18/96 Mallard; Canada Goose; Wood Duck; Double-crested Cormorant 30 Botulism type C NW
OR Malheur NWR 05/15/95-07/31/95 Sandhill Crane 23 Trauma NW
OR Malheur NWR 05/14/96-06/28/96 Sandhill Crane 32 Trauma NW
SD Sand Lake NWR 07/30/96-08/23/96 Mallard; Unidentified Bird; Franklin's Gull; Gadwall; American Coot 802 Botulism type C NW
SD Neuharth WPA 08/15/96-09/06/96 Unidentified Duck 300 Botulism suspect NW
SD Bitter Lake 08/26/96-09/03/96 Mallard ; Gadwall; Blue-winged Teal; Green-winged Teal; American Coot 454 Botulism type C NW
VA Prince George County 08/22/96-08/29/96 Mallard; Canada Goose 14 Botulism type C NW
WI Horicon NWR Redhead Unit 08/07/96-09/23/96 Mallard; Wood Duck; Northern Shoveler; Green-winged Teal; Northern Pintail 75(e) Botulism type C NW
UT Ouray NWR; Wyasket Lake 07/16/96-09/25/96 Unidentified Waterfowl; Mallard; Green-winged Teal; White-faced Ibis; Unidentified Gull 607 Botulism type C NW
WA Cashmere 05/08/96-05/08/96 Mallard; Hybrid Mallard 12 Toxicosis: organophosphorus compound NW
WI LaCrosse 07/14/96-07/30/96 Mallard 35(e) Botulism suspect NW
SAS (Canada) Middle Quill (Mud) Lake 09/06/96-09/25/96 Northern Pintail; Unidentified Duck 3,200 Botulism type C CCW
MAN Whitewater Lake 07/08/96-09/20/96 Unidentified Duck; Unidentified Bird; Northern Shoveler; Green-winged Teal; Blue-winged Teal 117,052 Botulism type C CCW
ALB Pakowki Lake 07/19/96-09/19/96 Unidentified Duck 12,000(e) Botulism type C CCW
NWT Banks Island 07/01/96-07/08/96 Snow Goose 5,500(e) Avian cholera NW
Chaplin Marsh SAS 08/22/96-09/19/96 Unidentified Duck; Unidentified Bird 704 Botulism type C CCW
Old Wives Lake SAS 09/01/96-09/30/96 Unidentified Duck 100,000(e) Botulism type C CCW

(e) = estimate; * = morbidity and mortality

Alaska Fish and Game Department (AK), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZ), B.C. Ministry of Environment (BC), Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center (CCW), Center for Disease Control (CDC), California Fish and Game Wildlife Investigations Lab (CFG), Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NY), Oregon Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife (OR), Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University (PA), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), San Diego County Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (SDC), Environment Ministry Laboratory of Toronto (TOR), Wyoming Game and Fish (WY), Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WA), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI) , US Army, Fort Meade (USA), University of California Davis (UCD), US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

Written and compiled by Rex Sohn, Western US, Kathryn Converse, Central US, Emi Saito/Grace McLaughlin - Eastern US, 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 and morbidity events reported to the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) from July through September, 1996.

Forty eight epizootics were reported this quarter with botulism accounting for over half of the events.

The Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center reported high botulism losses in the Canadian Provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan this summer with a combined total of over 230,000 waterfowl found dead. At Pakowki Lake (native for "bad water"), Alberta, almost 12,000 carcasses were collected. While this loss is significant, it pales when compared to the massive losses of the previous two years with over 100,000 and 31,000 waterfowl found dead. In Saskatchewan, during August and September, substantial botulism mortality occurred on the areas of Middle Quill (Mud) Lake, Chaplin Marsh and Old Wives Lake. At Middle Quill Lake, pintails comprised 50% of the 3,200 carcasses picked up. Botulism was recognized for the first time ever on Chaplin Marsh where 704 carcasses (primarily ducks) were picked up. A major outbreak occurred in late September on Old Wives Lake. Access to the lake was difficult, hindering collection and mortality estimates. Using limited transect sampling, the mortality was estimated to be about 100,000 birds, primarily dabbling ducks. In Manitoba, birds began dying on July 8th on a 22,000 acre wetland of Whitewater Lake. Intensive carcass collection was conducted until September 18; the 117,052 carcasses collected were comprised of over 75% ducks.

Botulism was also reported to NWHC from five national wildlife refuges (NWR) or wetland management districts (WMD) in North and South Dakota. Kulm WMD in southern North Dakota reported mortality at five sites in two counties and botulism was confirmed at four of the sites. Approximately 6,000 birds were collected at the five sites, primary dabbling ducks. Long Lake NWR Complex in Kidder and Burleigh counties, North Dakota reported mortality of 8,250 birds including waterfowl, coots, terns, gulls, and other waterbirds on four sites. At one site, Dewald Slough in Kidder County, presence of nesting western grebes that had died from schistosome flukes may have triggered the botulism event.

In California, Klamath Basin NWR reported botulism at White Lake; over 8,000 birds were picked up out of a population of over 1 million. A "botulism hospital" was set up and refuge personnel treated between 100 and 150 birds per week during the outbreak.

In addition to the typical avian botulism in California, Salton Sea NWR in southern California reported mortality in white and brown pelicans. By the end of the outbreak, 8,536 white pelicans, 1,129 brown pelicans and 4,444 waterbirds of other species had been picked up. Botulism type C was diagnosed in the pelicans and other birds (herons and egrets included). The occurrence of botulism in fish-eating birds is unusual and the source of the toxin is unclear. Sick and dead fish were collected from various sites in the Sea and research is ongoing.

Evidence of large scale mortality in nesting snow geese was noted for a second year on breeding grounds at the Egg River Nesting Colony, Banks Island, Northwest Territories. NWHC researchers on site for a avian cholera project, estimated this year's mortality to be at least 5,500 snow geese out of a population of over 500,000. Bones from remaining carcasses were cultured and found to be positive for Pasteurella multicida bacteria, the causative agent for avian cholera.

In February, an oil spill occurred off the coast of St. Paul Island in the Pribilof Islands of Alaska affecting between two and ten thousand birds; 156 birds were rehabilitated and returned to the wild. Oil "fingerprinting" confirmed the source of the oil to be from an injured ship which had required U.S Coast Guard assistance on February 16th. King Eiders comprised 1,038 of the 1,146 birds collected. On July 12, the legal case was settled and the entire fine will be paid into the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Fund.

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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