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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
October 2002 to December 2002

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CA Sonoma County, Copeland Creek 08/07/02-08/12/02 Foothills Yellow-Legged Frog 14 Undetermined NW
CA Colusa County,
Sacramento NWR Complex
11/25/02-01/16/03 Ross' Goose, Snow Goose, American Coot, Northern Pintail, Mallard 200 (e) Avian cholera NW
CA Riverside County, Salton Sea 12/12/02-12/15/02 Snowy Egret, Great Egret 9 Open NW
FL Monroe County, Big Pine Key 11/04/02-11/06/02 Double-crested Cormorant 2 Viral Infection: West Nile SCW
FL Volusia County, Daytona Beach 09/26/01-09/27/01 Unidentified Warbler 100 (e) Trauma: Impact FL
FL St. Mark's NWR 12/19/02-ongoing Southern Leopard Frog 15 (e) Parasitism: Mesomycetozoa-like NW
GA Clarke County 09/23/02-10/07/02 Canada Goose 5 (e) Toxicosis: Ethylene glycol SCW
GA Baldwin County, Lake Sinclair 09/09/02-09/11/02 Canada Goose 3 (e) Open SCW
GA Liberty County 10/24/02-11/04/02 Mourning Dove 10 (e) Parasitism: Trichomoniasis Salmonellosis SCW
GA Johnson County, Wrightsville 12/01/02-12/03/03 Northern Cardinal 5 (e) Salmonellosis SCW
KS McPherson Co. 12/03/02-12/04/02 European Starling 1,500 (e) Toxicosis Suspect NW
LA Lacassine NWR 10/29/02-12/03/02 Blue-winged Teal, Black-crowned Night Heron, American Wigeon, Barn Owl 13* (e) Open NW
LA Louisiana Delta Plantation 12/04/02-12/04/02 Northern Pintail 20 (e) Trauma: storm NW
MD Dorchester Co. 09/08/02-10/25/02 White-tailed Deer 100 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic disease SCW
MD Frederick Co. 12/20/02-01/06/03 American Crow 70 (e) Enteritis MD
MD Garrett Co. 12/26/02-12/28/02 American Crow 200 (e) Toxicosis Suspect MD
MO Squaw Creek NWR 09/01/02-10/02/02 American White Pelican 30 (e) Open NW
MT Charles M Russell NWR 08/20/02-08/20/02 Tiger Salamander 50 (e) Open
NC Graham County, Tulula Wetlands 04/27/02-05/21/02 Wood Frog, Spotted Salamander 100,000 (e) Open NW
ND Chase Lake NWR 09/15/02-10/10/02 Unidentified Pelican 750 (e) Open ND
NE Hall County 11/26/02-11/27/02 Canada (Cackling) Goose 20 (e) Aflatoxicosis suspect NW
NM Catron County, Gila National Forest 10/10/02-10/17/02 Chiricahua Leopard Frog 180 (e) Open NW
NY Albany County 02/03/02-02/17/02 Gray Squirrel 3 Toxicosis: Brodifacoum NY
NY Livingston County 07/26/02-08/01/02 Gray Squirrel 2 Toxicosis: Brodifacoum IL
OR Ankeney NWR 11/12/02-11/22/02 Canada (Cackling) Goose 36 Aspergillosis NW
PA Greene County 10/10/02-10/11/02 White-tailed Deer 100 (e) Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease SCW
SC Laurens County, Cross Hill 09/17/02-10/07/02 Northern Cardinal, House Finch 12 (e) Salmonellosis SCW
SC Laurens County, Ware Shoals 07/10/02-09/27/02 Northern Cardinal Unidentified Passerine 35 (e) Hepatitis Nephritis SCW
UT Davis County, Great Salt Lake 11/20/02-11/29/02 Eared Grebe, California Gull, Unidentified Duck 2,500 (e) Avian cholera WY
VA Accomack Co. 11/30/02-12/01/02 Snow Goose 18 Emaciation: starvation suspect, Trauma NW
VA Virginia Beach Co. 10/06/02-10/06/02 Mallard 19 Botulism type C NW
WA Yakima County, Grandview 10/31/02-11/20/02 Mallard 200 (e) Toxicosis: Famphur NW
WI Outagamie County 10/15/02-11/15/02 Mallard Pekin 40 (e) Open: botulism suspect NW
WI Jefferson Co., Lakes Mud, Ripley, Rock 11/20/02-11/22/02 Ring-billed Gull 450 Toxicosis suspect: Onions WI
WI Sauk, Columbia, Iowa, and Grant Counties 12/10/02-ongoing Bald Eagle 9 Lead poisoning Toxicosis Suspect NW, WI
WI Upper Mississippi NWR 11/09/02-11/15/02 Tundra Swan 15 (e) Bacterial infection: Riemerella Anatipestifer Gout: visceral NW, WI
WI Upper Mississippi NWR, pools 7, 8, 9 10/22/02-11/10/02 Lesser Scaup, American Coot, Ring-necked Duck, Mallard, American Wigeon 2,000 (e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis NW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CA Imperial Co., Salton Sea 06/10/02-10/31/02 Brown Pelican, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Caspian Tern, Eared Grebe 219 Botulism type C NW
KY,OH,IN Multiple counties 08/13/02-10/30/02 House Finch, House Sparrow 200 (e) Parasitism: trichomoniasis, Viral Infection: West Nile NW
NC Alamance County 08/16/02-11/10/02 White-tailed Deer 809 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic disease SCW
NY,PA,ONT Lake Erie Lackawanna, Bethlehem Steel 06/25/02-12/30/02 Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Unidentified Shorebird 14,500 (e) Botulism type E NW
NY Lake Erie shore line 06/10/02-10/01/02 Mudpuppy Salamander 20,000 (e) Open NW
OH WA, MI, VA, KY, NE, MD, IA, IN, WI and PA 08/10/02-09/30/02 Great-horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Barred Owl, Double-crested Cormorant 1,500 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile NW
OH Fairborn, Greene County 07/03/02-07/07/02 Common Grackle European Starling 10 Open NW
VA Newport News Co., Newport News Park 08/17/02-11/10/02 White-tailed Deer 100 (e) Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease SCW

(e) = estimate, * = morbidity and mortality

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NY), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WI), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FL), Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (IL), Wyoming Game and Fish Dept. (WY), Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources (MD), North Dakota Game and Fish Dept. (ND).

Written and compiled by Kathryn Converse/Rex Sohn - Western US, Grace McLaughlin - Eastern US, ChristineLemanski, NWHC. The Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report is available at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov. To reportmortality or receive information about this report, contact the above NWHC staff, or for Hawaiian Islands contactThierry Work. Phone: (608) 270-2400, FAX: (608) 270-2415 or e-mail:kathy_converse@usgs.gov. USGS NationalWildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711.

Quarterly Mortality Reports

Avian Cholera on the Great Salt Lake
In late November the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reported mortality of eared grebes, California gulls and various species of ducks along the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake. The Wyoming Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Laramie, Wyoming diagnosed avian cholera in 6 freshly dead gulls and eared grebes submitted for diagnostic investigation. Aerial and boat surveys for dead birds were hampered by inclement weather and poor visibility. Brine shrimp harvesters on the main body of the lake reported observing widely scattered eared grebe carcasses. An estimated 2,500 grebes died. Previous epizootics of avian cholera have occurred on the Great Salt Lake in October and November of 1994, 1995, and 1998 with estimated mortality reaching as high as 44,000 birds. The predominant species affected in the die-offs have consistently been eared grebes.

Aspergillosis in Cackling Canada Geese
Biologists at Ankeny NWR, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, reported the death of 36 Cackling Canada geese in mid-November. Carcasses submitted to the NWHC for diagnostic investigation had massive Aspergillus fumigatus infections of the lungs. Repeated mortalities of hundreds of waterfowl due to aspergillosis have occurred at Willamette Valley Refuges since the early 1990's. Mortality usually occurred in October, when geese migrate in and begin to feed on waste corn in nearby agricultural fields. Later in October, when rainfall normally increases, the geese switch to foraging on new growth rye grass and the mortality ends. Refuge biologists believe that lack of rain in October 2002 delayed aspergillosis mortality until mid-November.

Lake Erie
Botulism type E Claims Record Numbers. Losses of more than 14,500 birds in 2002 mark the largest single year of botulism type E losses in the Great Lakes since the recent 1990’s epizootics. More than 10,000 birds, including about 6,000 long-tailed ducks, 2,000 red-breasted mergansers, and 1,000 loons, died during a 3-week period from October 25 through November 10. As in 2001, birds started dying in large numbers within hours of arriving on the lake on their southward migration. Sick and dead birds were reported along the Canadian shore, primarily from Long Point east, in Pennsylvania, and along the entire New York shoreline. The Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation received many of birds, confirmed the type E toxin, and collected information on food habits in an ongoing effort to understand the epizootiology of this disease in Lake Erie.

Trematodiasis Kills Birds on the Upper Mississippi River
Hunters and Upper Mississippi NWR personnel found large numbers of American coots, ring-billed ducks, and lesser scaup along the shoreline and on islands in the Mississippi River from La Crosse District, Wisconsin and Minnesota, south to McGregor district in Iowa. Overwhelming infections of the intestinal flukes Cyathocotyle bushiensis and Sphaeridiotrema globulus were diagnosed in fresh carcasses submitted to the NWHC. An estimated 2,000 waterfowl died. Eagles and mammals scavenged many birds and others were washed into inaccessible areas of the river. Mortality caused by these two species has been reported in various areas of North America. This is the first outbreak reported at Upper Mississippi River NWR.

Hemorrhagic Disease in White-tailed deer
Only 3 years following the last major outbreak of HD, 15 states (KS, TX, LA, WI, IN, OH, PA, WV, VA, MD, TN, NC, AL, GA, SC) reported mortalities mid-July to late November from epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus serotype 2 (EHDV-2) and 3 states (GA, NC, VA) had deer diagnosed with bluetongue virus serotype 10 (BTV-10) in August. Several states (WI, PA OH) reported their first isolations of the EHDV-2, although a previous incident was suspected in Wisconsin. No isolates were typed to EHDV-1, which was isolated along with EHDV-2 in 1999. Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) and the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory provided diagnostic services and mortality information along with wildlife agencies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Maryland.

Mourning doves, house finches, house sparrows, goldfinches and several other species collected in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana had lesions consistent with trichomoniasis. Hundreds of ill and dead birds were found at feeders and in back yards in the tri-state area. Some of the finches and sparrows were also diagnosed with West Nile virus infection, but the roles each disease played in the overall mortality is unknown.

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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