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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
April 1998 to June 1998

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AR Lake Dardanelle 04/13/98 - 04/13/98 American Coot 20 (e) Enteritis NW
CA Mid-Hacienda Flood Plain 06/10/98 - ongoing American Coot, Mallard 7,500 Botulism Type C CFG
CA Mullet Island, Salton Sea 04/03/98 - 05/06/98 Double-crested Cormorant 1,000 (e) Newcastle Disease Virus suspect NW
CA Pala Slough 01/25/98 - 01/30/98 American Coot; American Wigeon; Green-winged Teal; Unidentified bird 1,485 Avian cholera CFG
GA Wassaw NWR 05/21/98 - 05/28/98 Red Knot Sanderling; Semipalmated Plover; Western Sandpiper; Laughing Gull 10 Botulism Type C NW
GA Athens 06/08/98 - 06/08/98 House Finch 1 Conjunctivitis SC
ID Market Lake WMA - East Springs Marsh 03/20/98 - 03/20/98 Trumpeter Swan 10 Lead poisoning NW
MA Cape Cod National Seashore 05/18/98 - 06/08/98 Common Eider 1,000 (e) Emaciation NW
MD Wye Mills 04/10/98 - 04/10/98 Canada Goose; Unidentified duck 13 Toxicosis: diazinon NW
MD Baltimore Co. 05/01/98 - 05/01/98 House Finch 1 Conjunctivitis SC
MI Isle Royale NP 03/01/97 - ongoing Gray Wolf 15 Open MI
MT Near West Glacier 03/10/98 - 04/15/98 Common Redpoll; Pine Siskin; Dark-eyed Junco; Evening Grosbeak; Black-capped Chickadee 20 (e) Salmonellosis NW
ND Dogtown WPA 05/25/98 - 06/20/98 Tiger Salamander 3,000 Hepatic / Splenic Necrosis NW
OH West Sister Island 06/01/98 - 06/29/98 Herring Gull 60 (e) Open NW
RI Washington Cty. 06/19/98 - 06/24/98 Greater Shearwater 11 Emaciation NW
SD Lake Thompson 03/20/98 - 04/05/98 Mallard; Snow Goose 1,000 (e) Avian cholera suspect NW
TN Davidson, Rutherford Ctys. 06/03/98 - 06/03/98 Blue Jay; Starling 2 Conjunctivitis M. sturni SC
VA Chincoteague, Accomack Ctys. 03/31/98 - 03/31/98 House Finch 1 Conjunctivitis NW
VA Maxwell 04/01/98 - 04/01/98 Hybrid Mallard; Muscovy 28 Duck plague NW
WI Shawano Lake 04/03/98 - 04/10/98 American Coot; Lesser Scaup; Ring-necked duck 13 Parasitism NW, WI
headers="header1"WI headers="header2"Madison headers="header3"05/22/98 - 05/22/98 headers="header4"House Finch headers="header5"1 headers="header6"Conjunctivitis headers="header7"NW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CA Eel River Delta 12/17/97 - 01/07/98 American Coot; American Wigeon; Northern Shoveler; Unidentified Bird 2,570 Avian cholera suspect CFG
CA Imperial Wildlife Area 12/31/97 - 01/27/98 American Coot; Ruddy; Northern Shoveler; Green-winged Teal; Snow Goose 458 Avian cholera suspect CFG
FL Brevard, Gilchrist Ctys. 02/02/98 - 03/15/98 Brown-headed Cowbird; Northern Cardinal 22 Salmonellosis FL
GA Summerville 02/04/98 - 02/04/98 Common Grackle 30 (e) Toxicosis: diazinon SC
ME Somerset, Liberty, Monson, Dover, Foxcroft 12/13/97 - 03/30/98 Common Redpoll; American Goldfinch 20 (e) Salmonellosis NW

(e) = estimate; * = morbidity and mortality

National Wildlife Health Center (NW); Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SC); California Department of Fish and Game - Wildlife Investigations Laboratory (CFG); University of Florida-Gainesville (FL), Rose Lake Wildlife Disease Laboratory-Michigan (MI), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI).

Written and compiled by Kathryn Converse, Kimberli Miller, Linda Glaser, Terry Creekmore, and Audra Schrader, National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC). To report mortality or if you would like specific information on these mortalities, contact one of the following NWHC staff: Western US Kathryn Converse; Eastern US--Kimberli Miller; Hawaiian Islands--Thierry Work. Phone (608) 270-2400, FAX (608) 270-2415 or E-mail kathy_converse@usgs.gov. National Wildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711.

Quarterly Mortality Reports

The following highlights wildlife morbidity and mortality events reported to the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) from April through June 1998. There were 26 reports this quarter.

Newcastle Disease along with colony abandonment is suspected to be the cause of mortality again this year in a double-crested cormorant colony in Salton Sea located in southern California. Mortality, estimated at 6000 young of the year cormorants, occurred early this spring on the Mullet Island colony of 2700 nests. Older juveniles exhibited the characteristic neurological signs of ND including spastic paralysis of one wing or leg. Young of the year birds were found sick or dead and ranged in age from nestlings (<3 weeks of age) to immature birds (3-8 weeks of age). Diagnostic evaluation revealed the microscopic lesions in brain and spinal cord associated with ND but a virus has not been isolated from these birds. Virus isolation and identification of the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) are required to confirm the diagnosis. Newcastle Disease caused significant mortality last year in this same nesting colony.

A large die-off of tiger salamanders was reported to NWHC by USFWS personnel from a 3-part wetland in south central North Dakota. Mortality was first observed in late May in the smallest section of the wetland and spread throughout the wetland within a month's time. Salamanders in a late stage of larval development appeared to be sick, moving slowly, and staying close to the water's edge. Other species using the wetland including birds, fish, and turtles, appeared to be unaffected. Sick and dead salamanders were submitted to the NWHC for diagnostic evaluation. Evidence of cell death in the liver and spleen was observed microscopically but no cause for these lesions has been found. Diagnostic evaluation continues. Last year, the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan found that a virus was the cause of mortality in tiger salamanders from several sites in the prairie provinces.

In April 1998, an incident of mortality in American coots in northern Wisconsin was again attributed to infection by the trematode Leygonimus sp. As in the fall of 1997, concurrent mortality in lesser scaup on the same lake was attributed to infection by the trematode Sphaeridiotrema sp. This is the second known record of this trematode infecting coots in North America.

The New York Department of Conservation reported ten cases of individual poisonings in birds that are not listed in the mortality events table but merit comment. Intoxication with Brodifacoum, an anticoagulant rodenticide, was confirmed in a great horned owl collected in Dutchess County in June 1997, a great horned owl collected in Genesee County in April 1997 and in a screech owl collected in Erie County in October 1997. The owls were secondarily poisoned, most likely due to eating animals that had ingested the rodenticide. Chlordane poisoning was confirmed in an American crow and a blue jay collected July 1997 and a red-tailed hawk collected in September 1997 in three towns in Suffolk County, Long Island; in an American crow collected in Stamford, Connecticut in July 1997; and in a blue jay collected July 1997 in Nassau County, Long Island. Chlordane is a persistent toxicant used in the past for termite and turfgrass insect control. A house sparrow collected July 1997 and a white-throated sparrow collected December 1997 were non-target species that were poisoned by ingestion of Avitrol which is widely used in New York for pigeon control.

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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