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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
January 2001 to March 2001

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AR Arkansas Co., Little Sierra Duck Club 01/09/01-01/16/01 American Coot, Unidentified Grebe, Ring-necked Duck, Gadwall 206 (e) Aviancholera SC
AR Baxter Co., Mountain Home 03/14/01-03/30/01 Common Grackle 20 (e) Toxicosis: organophosphorus cmpd. suspect NW
CA Kings Co., Lake Success 02/05/01-02/06/01 American Coot, Canada Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, American Wigeon, Double-crested Cormorant 260 (e) Avian cholera CA
CA Klamath Basin NWR 02/01/01-04/15/01 Snow Goose, Ross' Goose, White-fronted Goose, American Coot, Unidentified Duck 1,879 Avian cholera NW
CA Los Angeles, Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties 01/22/01-03/15/01 Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, House Finch 25 (e) Salmonellosis NW
CA Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR 01/01/01-03/01/01 Ruddy Duck 22 Bacterial infection: Riemerella anatipestifer NW
CA Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR 03/05/01-04/15/01 Ruddy Duck, Ring-billed Gull, American White Pelican, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler 442 Avian cholera NW
CO Jefferson Co., Crown Hill Open Space Park & Kendrick Lake 02/01/01-03/01/01 Canada Goose 100 (e) Open CO
FL Monroe Co., Everglades NP 02/02/01-02/02/01 Turkey Vulture 100 (e) Drowning NW
FL Monroe County, Various locations 12/31/00-ongoing Brown Pelican, Common Loon, Great Blue Heron 250 (e) Open NW
GA Effingham Co., Springfield 01/13/01-01/13/01 American Robin 10 Toxicosis: Chlorpyrifos SC
GA Morgan Co., Madison 01/22/01-01/23/01 Common Grackle 15 Toxicosis: diazinon SC
IA Black Hawk Co., Waterloo 12/24/00-01/02/01 Mallard 67 Aspergillosis NW
ID Caribou Co., Smoky Canyon 07/18/00-08/10/00 Tiger Salamander 2 Viral infection: Iridovirus NW
ID Jefferson Co., Mud Lake 03/18/01-03/26/01 Snow Goose, Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, Unidentified Gull, American Wigeon 22 Avian cholera NW
LA Cameron County 01/06/01-01/15/01 Snow Goose, White-fronted Goose 18 Avian cholera NW
LA Several Counties 01/26/01-02/02/01 Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird 600 (e) Salmonellosis, Toxicosis: organophosphoruscmpd. suspect NW,LU
NM Bosque del Apache NWR 11/01/00-02/28/01 Snow Goose, Mallard, Sandhill Crane, American Coot, Northern Pintail 1,848 Avian cholera BA
OH Toledo, Maumee River 01/11/01-01/15/01 American Black Duck, Mallard, Canvasback 250 (e) Open NW
OK Tillman Co., Hackberry Flat WMA 01/02/01-02/14/01 Mallard, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Canada Goose 2,100 (e) Mycotoxicosis suspect NW,OW
OR Lincoln Co., near Toledo 02/05/01-02/13/01 Hooded Merganser, Beaver, Mallard, Unidentified Kingfisher, Lesser Scaup 11* Toxicosis: petroleum (oil): NW
SC Dorchester County 12/14/00-12/14/00 Common Grackle 17 Toxicosis: carbamate suspect SC
TX Aransas, Kendall, Harris,& Wood Counties 02/03/01-03/01/01 Brown-headed Cowbird, Pine Siskin, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch 43 (e) Salmonellosis suspect TX,HZ
TX Kenedy Co., King Ranch 01/09/01-01/17/01 White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Unidentified Grackle, Northern Pintail, American Coot 958 Avian cholera NW
TX Laguna Atascosa Lake 01/10/00-02/10/00 Snow Goose, Green-winged Teal, American Avocet, Sandhill Crane 200 (e) Open NW
TX Nueces Co., Gulf beach 01/28/01-03/15/01 Double-crestedCormorant 100 (e) Salmonellosis NW
TX Terrell, Dimmit & Briscoe Counties 03/15/01-03/19/01 Mourning Dove 800 (e) Open NW
VA Frederick County Park 02/25/01-03/25/01 Mallard, Canada Goose, American Crow, European Starling, Unidentified Blackbird 35 (e) Toxicosis: CHE inhibiting compound NW
VT Bennington Co., Lake Parin 12/25/00-01/03/01 Canada Goose 30 Open NW
WA Whatcom County 11/15/00-02/28/01 Trumpeter Swan 260 (e) Lead poisoning WA
WI Brown, Dane & Rock Counties 12/01/00-03/01/01 HouseSparrow 70 (e) Salmonellosis(S. typhimurium) WI
WI Milwaukee Co., Lake Michigan 03/18/01-04/28/01 Lesser Scaup, Greater Scaup, Herring Gull, Canada Goose 39 Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema, Cyathocotyle bushiensis NW, WI
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AR Clark Co., De Gray Lake 11/27/00-02/01/01 American Coot 5 Avian vacuolar myelinopathy SC
CA Sacramento NWR Complex 11/01/00-03/26/01 Snow Goose, American Coot, Ross' Goose, American Wigeon, White-fronted Goose 1,109 Avian cholera NW
CA San Joaquin River NWR 12/07/00-01/16/01 Ruddy Duck, Northern Shoveler, Canada (Aleutian) Goose 200 Avian cholera NW
CO Park Co., near Guffey 08/19/96-08/30/96 Tiger Salamander 100 (e) Viral infection suspect: Iridovirus NW
GA Lincoln Co., J. Strom Thurmond Lake 11/13/00-03/30/01 American Coot, Bald Eagle, Canada Goose, Killdeer 125 Avian vacuolar myelinopathy SC
MI Monroe Co., West Sister Island 10/12/00-10/15/00 Double-crested Cormorant 7 Emaciation, Parasitism NW
NC Moore Co., Woodlake 11/04/00-03/01/01 American Coot, Canada Goose 250 (e) Avian vacuolar myelinopathy NW, SC
NJ Edwin B. Forsythe NWR 11/09/00-02/01/01 AtlanticBrant 1,400 (e) Open NW, NJ
SC McCormick Co., Lake Murray; Edgefield Co., J. Strom Thurmond Lake 11/13/00-02/15/01 Bald Eagle, Canada Goose, Great-horned Owl, American Coot, Killdeer 25 (e) Avian vacuolar myelinopathy NW, SC

(e) = estimate, * = morbidity and mortality

Bosque del Apache NWR (BA), California Fish & Game (CA), Colorado Division of Wildlife (CO), Houston Zoo (HZ), Louisiana State University (LU), National Wildlife Health Center (NW), New Jersey Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (NJ), Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation (OW), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SC), Texas Park & Wildlife Dept. (TX), Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (WA), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WI).

Written and compiled by Kimberli Miller, Kathryn Converse and Audra Schrader, National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC). The Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report is also available on the Internet at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/. 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

Atlantic Brant in New Jersey. Atlantic brant mortality, first noted at Edwin B. Forsyth NWR in New Jersey in November 2000, occurred again in mid January 2001, along the coast near Atlantic City. Over 700 brant were collected during each wave of mortality for a total of over 1400 birds. Necropsy observations during both events included tissue hemorrhage and lung edema. Attempts by a variety of methods, including electron microscopy, failed to detect viral or bacterial etiologic agents including West Nile virus, duck plague, Newcastle disease and avian influenza. Tests for botulinum toxins and rodenticides were negative and brain acetylcholinesterase activity was within normal limits. Multiple state and federal agencies collaborated on the diagnostic and field response to this event. Media interest was very high.

Morbidity and Mortality in Florida. Brown pelican morbidity and mortality was first noted in the Marquesas Keys, Florida in late December and continued intermittently through March. Affected birds appeared lethargic with droopy heads, had difficulty flying and swimming or were unable to move at all. There were no consistent necropsy findings in the several pelicans necropsied at the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), no significant bacteria or viruses were isolated and tests for avian botulism type C and E were negative. However, two birds had moderate brain acetylcholinesterase activity depression (39% and 51%) and toxicology analysis will be pursued. Mortalities in loggerhead turtles have also occurred in southern Florida with nearly 150 sick and dead turtles found since September. Marine animal specialists have been working to determine the cause of this turtle mortality. A link between the pelican die-off and loggerhead deaths has not been established.

Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy. Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) occurred in various locations during 2000, with the majority of cases occurring at Woodlake in North Carolina and J. Strom Thurmond/Clark's Hill Lake on the Georgia-South Carolina border. Each year there seems to be a change in the epizootiology of this disease. The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) documented the first loss of several bald eagles from AVM outside of Arkansas at J. Strom Thurmond/Clark's Hill Lake as well as AVM in several new species including 2 great horned owls, 1 killdeer and 3 Canada geese. Wildlife Disease Specialists from SCWDS and NWHC conducted a field investigation at the site in late November 2000. Based on diagnostic and research work to date, the cause of AVM is thought to be due to either a naturally occurring or man-made chemical. NWHC research with sentinel birds in North Carolina has shown that the occurrence of AVM is site specific and has a fairly rapid onset. A variety of agencies will continue research efforts to determine the cause of this disease and route of exposure.

Avian Cholera in Arkansas. Over 200 American coots died over a 2-week period in early January in Arkansas County, Arkansas. SCWDS confirmed the mortality was due to avian cholera. This is the first record of avian cholera mortality in Arkansas in either the NWHC or SCWDS databases.

Louisiana Mortality. Cowbird and blackbird mortality was noted in January and February 2001, over an extensive area of southern Louisiana. Salmonellosis was diagnosed by Louisiana State University. An estimated 100 cowbirds and blackbirds found dead and dying on a golf course in East Baton Rouge Parrish appear to be unrelated mortalities as brain acetylcholinesterase activity was found to be significantly depressed in several birds examined at NWHC. This is suggestive of recent exposure to an organophosphate compound.

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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