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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
July 2002 to September 2002

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AR Calhoun Co., Camden 08/13/02-08/14/02 Black Vulture 4 Lead poisoning NW
CA Sonoma Co., Copeland Creek 08/07/02-08/10/02 Foothills Yellow-Legged Frog 14 Open NW
CA Imperial Co., Imperial area 07/10/02-08/01/02 Cattle Egret 750 (e) Salmonellosis NW
CA Imperial Co., Salton Sea 06/10/02-ongoing Brown Pelican, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Caspian Tern, Eared Grebe 241 Botulism type C NW
CA Sutter Co. Sutter NWR 07/10/02-08/17/02 White-faced Ibis, Mallard Duck, Snowy Egret 100 (e) Open NW
GA McDuffie Co., Cedar Rock Road 04/05/02-05/17/02 Mourning Dove 25 (e) Parasitism: trichomoniasis SCW
GA Green Co., Siloam 06/19/02-07/10/02 Brown-headed Cowbird 168 (e) Salmonellosis SCW
IA Boone Co., Boone 09/11/02-09/30/02 Fox Squirrel 4 (e) Viral Infection:West Nile NW
IA Dubuque Co., Yacht Basin 07/15/02-10/10/02 Mallard Duck 350 (e) Botulism type C NW
IA Louisa Co., Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge 09/17/02-09/30/02 American White Pelican 15 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile NW
ID Bonner Co., Cocolala 07/20/02-09/12/02 Evening Grosbeak 200 (e) Emaciation NW
ID Jefferson Co., Market Lake WMA 07/12/02-07/30/02 Green-winged Teal Franklin's Gull, Canada Goose 110 (e) Botulism type C NW
IL Peoria Co., Chillicothe 08/17/02-09/30/02 House Finch 24 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile NW
IN Bartholomew Co., Hope 08/15/02-09/15/02 House Finch 70 (e) Open NW
IN Lake Co., Lemon Lake 08/13/02-08/23/02 Bull Frog 2,000 (e) Viral Infection (suspect): Iridovirus NW
KY Boone Co., Florence 08/13/02-ongoing House Finch, House Sparrow 14 (e) Open Viral Infection: West Nile NW
MA Middlesex Co., Lowell National Park 08/25/02-09/15/02 Mallard Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Fish 50 (e) Botulism type C NW
MD Dorchester Co., Goose Creek 09/20/02-09/28/02 Mallard Duck 220 ( e) Open NW
MD Talbot Co., Chesapeak Bay, Poplar Island 07/12/02-07/15/02 Great Blue Heron, Laughing Gull 6 (e) Open NW
ME Oxford Co., Crocker Pond 06/28/02-06/28/02 Bull Frog 12 Open NW
ME Waldo Co., Sandy Stream 07/29/02-09/11/02 Bull Frog, Green Frog 54 (e) Deformities: etiology undetermined NW
ME York Co., Pond Island NWR, Stratton Island 06/16/02-08/12/02 Common Tern, Roseate Tern 400 (e) Open NW
MN Otter Tail Co., Folden Township 06/24/02-06/28/02 Green Frog 20 (e) Open NW
MN Lac Qui Parle WMA, Marsh Lake 07/15/02-09/01/02 Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Mallard Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Ring-billed Gull 3100 (e) Exposure suspect, Viral Infection: West Nile, Botulism type C NW
MN Agassiz NWR 08/13/02-08/18/02 Pied-billed Grebe, American White Pelican, Mallard Duck, Double-crested Cormorant 12 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile, Botulism type C NW
MO Jasper Co., Joplin 08/12/02-08/14/02 Purple Martin 20 (e) Open NW, MO
MT Stillwater Co., Hailstone NWR 07/22/02-07/31/02 Unidentified Gull, Mallard Duck, Redhead Duck, Lesser Scaup Duck 25 (e) Toxicosis: salt NW
NC Alamance Co. 08/16/02-ongoing White-tailed Deer 500 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic disease SCW
NC Madison Co., Hot Springs 08/01/02-08/16/02 Common Grackle 11 (e) Open NW
ND Cass Co., Alice WPA 08/14/02-09/16/02 Unidentified Shorebird, Unidentified Mallard Duck, Gadwall Duck, American Coot 646 Botulism suspect NW
ND Stutsman Co., Arrowwood NWR 08/20/02-09/13/02 Unidentified Shorebird, Unidentified Mallard Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal 251 Botulism type C NW
ND Kidder Co., Horsehead Lake 07/15/02-09/03/02 Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Franklin's Gull, Eared Grebe, American Avocet 465 Botulism type C NW
ND Renville Co., Upper Souris NWR 07/24/02-08/20/02 Mallard Duck, Gadwall Duck, American Coot, Unidentified Blue-winged Teal 1,099 Botulism type C NW
ND Logan Co., Roesler Lake WPA 07/10/02-08/20/02 Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant 3,952 Chlamydiosis, Emaciation NW
NV Washoe Co.,Truckee River 05/10/02-06/30/02 Bull Frog 20 (e) Open NW
OH WA, MI, VA, KY, NE, MD, IA, IN, WI and PA 08/10/02-ongoing Great-horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Barred Owl, Double-crested Cormorant 1,500 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile, Open NW
OH Greene Co., Fairborn 07/07/00-ongoing Common Grackle, European Starling 10 Open NW
OH Meigs Co., Salem Township 08/31/02-10/10/02 White-tailed Deer 500 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic disease OH
SC Clarendon Co., Manning 05/14/02-06/14/02 Mourning Dove 12 (e) Parasitism: trichomoniasis SCW
SC Charleston Co., West Ashley 04/27/02-04/27/02 Mallard Duck 3 (e) Toxicosis: diazinon SCW
SD Day Co., Bitter Lake 07/22/02-08/31/02 American White Pelican, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Blue-winged Teal Unidentified 1,335 Botulism type C Salmonellosis Viral Infection: West Nile NW
SD Edmunds Co., Grass Lake WPA 09/23/02-09/23/02 American White Pelican 11 (e) Trauma: gunshot NW
SD Bennett Co., Lacreek NWR 07/16/02-09/13/02 American White Pelican Double-crested Cormorant Unidentified 172 Viral Infection: West Nile NW
SD Brown Co., Sand Lake NWR 06/24/02-08/31/02 American White Pelican 18 (e) Botulism type C NW
SD Brown Co., Zabrashaw WPA 07/20/02-09/10/02 Wood Duck, Ruddy Duck, American Wigeon, Gadwall Duck, Mallard Duck 815 Botulism type C NW
TN Cumberlan Co., Crossville 08/20/02-09/03/02 American Goldfinch, Unidentified, Woodpecker, American Robin 42 (e) Salmonellosis NW
TX Galveston & Matagorda Counties,Brazoria 03/15/02-08/22/02 Northern Gannet 4 Open NW
TX Cameron Co., Harlingen 08/19/02-08/22/02 Laughing Gull 32 Salmonellosis NW
TX Willacy Co., La Sal Vieja 07/23/02-08/01/02 Black-bellied Tree Duck, Eared Grebe 80 (e) Toxicosis: salt NW
VA Suffolk Co., International Paper 07/09/02-10/05/02 Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard Duck 281 Botulism type C NW
VA Newport New Co., Newport News Park 08/17/02-ongoing White-tailed Deer 40 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic Disease SCW
VA Lee Co., Stone Creek 09/01/02-09/18/02 Mallard Duck 35 (e) Open, Toxicosis suspect NW
VT Bennington Co., Wood Pond 07/01/02-08/01/02 Eastern Red-spotted Newt 15 (e) Fungal Infection: NOS NW
WA King Co., Seattle 09/03/02-09/16/02 American Crow, Domestic (Rock Dove) Pigeon 36 (e) Toxicosis: Organophos- phorus compound NW
WI Winnebago Co., Menasha 08/07/02-08/26/02 Mallard Duck 20 Botulism type C NW
WI Winnebago Co., Fox Point of Little Lake Butte des Morts 07/24/02-08/07/02 Mallard Duck 24 (e) Botulism type C NW, WI
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
FL Okaloosa Co., Destin Harbor 02/01/02-07/10/02 Brown Pelican, Common Loon, Osprey, American White Pelican, Wood Duck 60 (e) Open NW
IL Winnebago Co., Rockford 12/26/01-03/13/02 House Sparrow 240 (e) Salmonellosis NW
NY, ONT Erie Co., Lackawanna Port Colborne Long Point NWA 06/25/02-ongoing Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Unidentified Shorebird 3,525 (e) Botulism type E NW,CCW
NY Lake Erie shore line 06/10/02-ongoing Mudpuppy Salamander 20,000 (e) Open NW

(e) = estimate, * = morbidity and mortality

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NY), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center (CCW), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WI), Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources (MN), Ohio Division of Wildlife (OH), Missouri Dept. of Conservation (MO).

Written and compiled by Kathryn Converse/Rex Sohn - Western US, Kimberli Miller/Grace McLaughlin - Eastern US, Christine Lemanski, 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, or for Hawaiian Islands contact Thierry Work. Phone: (608) 270-2400, FAX: (608) 270-2415 or e-mail: kathy_converse@usgs.gov. USGS National Wildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711.

Quarterly Mortality Reports

Black-bellied Tree Ducks in Texas
In late July, wildlife biologists in Texas that were conducting a brood rearing study, reported mortality in 18-24 hour old black-bellied tree ducks at La Sal Vieja in Willacy County. Ducklings displayed abnormal behavior within 20 minutes of entering the water from their nests. Clinical signs included lagging behind the brood, swimming in circles, resting their head in the water, head shaking, convulsions, and sudden death. Some adult ducks also exhibited head shaking but only young chicks died. The salinity of La Sal Vieja has increased in recent years due to drought conditions. The salinity was 355 ppt at the time of this mortality. The NWHC detected brain sodium concentrations ranging from 2,440 to 4,050 ppm wet weight in six ducklings. Levels greater than 2,000 parts ppm wet weight are consistent with sodium poisoning. The ducklings had mild to severe hydropic changes in their eye lenses, a change observed in ducklings dying from sodium poisoning in other hypersaline wetlands.

Salmonellosis in a Cattle Egret Colony
Mortality of 750 cattle egrets occurred at a nesting colony near Imperial, California that contained 5,000 birds. Biologists from Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR reported the wetland is surrounded by intensive irrigated agriculture and is near a large cattle feedlot. Salmonella sp. was isolated by the NWHC from three egrets and the isolates were submitted to the USDA National Veterinary Services Lab for serotyping. This is the seventh mortality event in cattle egrets due to Salmonellosis; six occurred in southern California and one in Texas. An estimated 9,500 cattle egrets have died in these seven events.

Mortality in Colonial Bird Colonies in the Northern Great Plains, mixed species and Causes
Numerous State and Federal wildlife management personnel in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota reported mortality of colonial nesting birds throughout this quarter. Diagnostic investigations of white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, and ring-billed gulls, by the NWHC, South Dakota State University, South Dakota Public Health Lab, and Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, confirmed mortality was due to multiple causes including: botulism type C (major cause), emaciation/starvation, salmonellosis, chlamydiosis, West Nile Virus, septicemia due to unidentified Pasteurella sp., and heavy internal parasitism. Unseasonably hot weather was the likely cause of death of a large number of very young-of-the-year white pelicans at Lac Qui Parle Wildlife Management Area in southwestern Minnesota, followed by botulism C mortality in ducks, gulls, and shorebirds. West Nile Virus was isolated from some older pelicans. At another site in Minnesota, a few neurologically impaired pied-billed grebes, pelicans, ducks, and cormorants were noted. Pelicans and grebes tested positive for West Nile virus and negative for botulism type C, while the reverse was true for the other species. A cormorant also tested positive for P. multocida, although lesions associated with avian cholera were not noted. Colonial nesting bird populations increased significantly during the mid to late 1990’s in the northern plains states in response to high water levels and abundant nesting and foraging habitat. Drought conditions have returned the past few years with a resulting decline in available nest sites and food resources that may have increased competition and stress, especially for young of the year and juvenile birds. It remains to be seen if continued mortality events in the colonial nesting bird populations in the near future will result in significant declines in these species in the region.

Botulism type E mortality continues on Lake Erie
Botulism type E mortality continued on Lake Erie throughout this quarter. In July, the NY State Wildlife Pathology Lab and NWHC investigated mortality in a ring-billed gull breeding colony near Lackawanna, NY. Losses were estimated at more than 3000 birds. In late August and early September, the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) reported mortality of several thousand freshwater drum (sheepshead) near Port Colborne, Ontario, in northeastern Lake Erie. Simultaneously the CWS reported several hundred double-crested cormorants and ring-billed gulls and lesser numbers of shorebirds were found along the beaches of Long Point National Wildlife Area, Ontario; botulism type E was confirmed by the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center. With the confirmation of botulism type E again this summer in gulls, cormorants, and other species, biologists are concerned about high losses of loons, mergansers, and fish- and mussel-eating ducks when they reach Lake Erie in late October and early November.

West Nile virus in the United States, 2002
WNV activity in the 2002 season has been high, particularly in the Upper Midwest and the Gulf Coast. The distribution of West Nile virus infections in birds has extended across the continental United States to western Washington. In California, WNV was detected in a human, but the virus has not been found in mosquito pools, wild birds or sentinel chicken flocks. At the end of October, WNV was detected in western Idaho in a horse. Dead bird surveillance throughout the United States and Canada has confirmed over 15,900 WNV positive birds in 42 states and four Canadian provinces. As of November 15, 2002, there are 3619 confirmed/probable human cases of West Nile virus in 41 of the United States and the District of Columbia, with 212 mortalities in 24 states. There have been 13,577 equine cases reported to the USDA, with an estimated 33% case fatality rate. WNV infection has been identified in several non-avian species this season, including a wolf, fox and gray squirrels, domestic dog, reindeer, harbor seal, and alligator. These data are based on regional information on WNV activity available on state Internet Web sites, http://www.aphis.usda.gov/oa/wnv/index.html ( http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/disease_information/west_nile_virus/index.jsp, and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/city_states.htm).

State Birds Humans Horses Mosquitoes Sentinel Chickens
LA + + + + +
FL + + + + +
MS + + + + +
NY + + + + +
PA + + + + +
NE + + + + +
TX + + + + +
NC + + + + +
IA + + + + +
IL + + + +  
AL + + + +  
OH + + + +  
SD + + + +  
GA + + + +  
KY + + + +  
IN + + + +  
MA + + + +  
MD + + + +  
NJ + + + +  
CT + + + +  
VA + + + +  
AR + + + +  
DE + + + +  
SC + + + +  
MO + + + +  
TN + + + +  
WI + + + +  
OK + + + +  
KS + + + +  
VT + + + +  
DC + +   +  
WV + + +    
MI + + +    
WY + + +    
MN + + +    
ND + + +    
MT + + +    
WA + +++ +    
RI + +   +  
CO +   +    
NM +   +    
ME +        
NH +     +  
CA   +      
ID     +    
Total States          
45 43 40 40 33 9
+ = Confirmed, ++ = Presumptive positive, +++ = Exposure in LA

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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