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National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
October 2003 to December 2003

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AR Arkansas County 12/15/03-12/16/03 Snow Goose 28(e) Open

CA Delevan NWR 09/25/03-12/17/03 Snow Goose,
American Widgeon
350(e) Avian cholera,
Lead poisoning
CA Delevan NWR 09/25/03-10/29/03 Mallard,
American Coot,
Ruddy Duck,
Northern Shoveler
43 Botulism type C,
CA San Joaquin River NWR 12/01/03-ongoing Aleutian Canada Goose,
American Coot,
Ross' Goose,
American White Pelican,
White-Fronted Goose
100(e) Avian Cholera,
FL Marion County 11/15/03-ongoing Cattle Egret,
Common Egret
200(e) Salmonellosis FL, NW
IA Fremont County 12/02/03-12/09/03 Snow Goose 200(e) Avian cholera NW
ID Ada County 11/01/03-11/17/03 Mallard 45(e) Open NW
LA Lafourche Parish 12/08/03-12/10/03 Unidentified Gull,
American White Pelican,
Unidentified Sandpiper,
5(e) Toxicosis: petroleum suspect NON
ME Hancock County 10/06/03-10/06/03 Common Eider 50(e) Pulmonary edema NW
MN Dakota County 11/05/03-11/06/03 Unidentified Gull 134(e) Open MNS, NW
MO Bob Brown WMA 12/09/03-12/12/03 Snow Goose,
50(e) Avian cholera NW
MO Buchanan county 12/02/03-12/05/03 Unidentified Duck,
Snow Goose
205(e) Avian cholera NW
MO Saline County 11/01/03-ongoing Snow Goose,
23 Avian cholera NW
MS Harrison County 10/01/03-10/31/03

Mississippi Gopher Frog 100(e) Parasitism: Perkinsus-like organism NW
NC Watauga County 10/14/03-10/14/03 Eastern Hellbender,
Unidentified Fish,
Unidentified Salamander
40,000(e) Toxicosis: sodium hydroxide NCA
OK Salt Plains NWR 11/10/03-11/12/03 Canada Goose 3 Aspergillosis NW
ONT Lake Huron 10/01/03-11/30/03 Common Loon,
Unidentified Grebe,
Unidentified Fish,
Double-crested Cormorant,
Unidentified Gull
25(e) Botulism suspect CCW
TX Aransas NWR 12/01/03-12/05/03 Snow Goose 80(e) Open NON
UT Wasatch County 03/03/03-09/03/003 Columbia Spotted Frog 30 Open NW
WA Ridgefield NWR 12/03/03-12/04/03 European Starling 450(e) Toxicosis suspect NW
WA King County 10/10/03-10/31/03 American Crow 13 Aviam Pox NW
WA Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom County 12/01/03-ongoing Trumpeter Swan 323 Open BC, WAS
WA, OR, CA Multiple Counties 10/20/03-ongoing Northern Fulmar 10,000(e) Emaciation,
Plastic ingestion
WI Kenosha County 12/07/02-12/17/02 Canada Goose 30 Lead WI
WI Trempealeau County 10/03/03-10/05/03 Cedar Waxwing 20(e) Open NW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CA Sacramento NWR Complex 07/08/03-09/20/03 Mallard,
Northern Pintail,
Northern Shoveler,
American Coot,
236 Botulism type C NW
FL, GA, SC Multiple Counties 03/12/03-11/30/03 Unidentified Bird 47(e) Eastern equine encephalitis FL, SC, SCW
FL Seminole County 08/01/03-11/10/03 Black Vulture 4(e) Arthritis: Septic,
Bacterial Infection suspect,
Viral Infection: West Nile,
ONT, NY Lake Ontario 08/01/03-12/31/03 Unidentified Fish,
Great Black-Backed Gull,
Unidentified Gull,
Common Loon,
Common Goldeneye
24 Botulism type E NY, CCW
PA, NY, ONT Lake Erie 07/15/03-12/15/03 Unidentified Fish,
Common Loon,
Ring-Billed Gull,
Unidentified Gull,
Herring Gull
9,200(e) Botulism type E,
Botulism suspect
TX Multiple Counties 08/01/03-08/31/03 Unidentified Raptor 200(e) Viral Infection: West Nile suspect TX
US All continental states expect ID, OR, NV, WA 01/08/03-12/31/03

American Crow,
Blue Jay,
Black-Billed Magpie,
Unidentified Sparrow,

11,597(e) Viral Infection: West Nile CDC, NW, SCW, ST
VA James City 09/01/03-09/05/03 Muscovy 10(e) Open,
WI Upper Mississippi NWR 09/18/03-12/01/03 American Coot,
Lesser Scaup,
Northern Pintail,
Ruddy Duck
3,000 Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globulus,
Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis,
Parasitism: Coccidiosis
WY,MT, CAN Multiple Counties 08/01/03-08/31/03 Sage Grouse 22 Viral Infection: West Nile WY
WY Campbell County 05/20/01-05/24/01 Tiger Salamander 80(e) Viral Infection: Iridovirus NW
WY Carbon County 05/30/01-05/30/01 Tiger Salamander 33 Viral Infection: Iridovirus NW

(e) = estimate

Arkansas Livestock and Poultry (AR), B.C. Ministry of Environment (BC), Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center (CCW), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Florida Game and Fish (FL), Minnesota Department of Natural resources (MNS), New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NY), North Carolina State Laboratory (NCA), Sea World of San Diego (SWD), South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC), Various State lab sites (ST), Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TX), University of Florida (UFL), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WAS), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WI), Wyoming State Laboratory (WY), No diagnostics pursued (NON), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WI).

Written and compiled by Kathryn Converse/Rex Sohn = Western US, 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, 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

Mass Mortality of Northern Fulmars along the Pacific Coast. In early November 2003 the NWHC was contacted by the USFWS in Oregon regarding reports of large numbers of dead Northern fulmars found along the Washington and Oregon coastlines. Several days later Sea World of San Diego reported morbidity and mortality of Northern fulmar along the southern California coast. Northern fulmars are the only seabird species reported to be suffering significantly increased mortality. Mortality began in mid-October and continued at some level through late December in California. Mortality continued to be reported in Oregon through late monitoring of beached pelagic bird carcasses began in1978. Examination of dead fulmars by pathologists and biologists from the California Department of Fish and Game, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center in Santa Cruz, and Sea World of Sand Diego demonstrated that all birds were in poor to emaciated body condition, the majority were hatch year birds, and none of the bird's upper GI tracts contained fresh prey. Dead birds from Oregon examined by the NWHC where emaciated juveniles with moderate to heavy lice and gastrointestinal nematode infestations. One bird had large quantity of plastic foreign bodies in its proventriculus and gizzard, but there was no evidence of blockage of the GI tract.

Avian Cholera in Western and Central United States. Avian cholera die-offs have continued over the last five years with a significantly lower number of dead birds and reduced geographic extent when compared with epizootics of the late 1980's and mid 1990's. Waterfowl mortality began at National Wildlife Refuges in the Central Valley of California in early December 2003 and continued into early January, 2004. The mortality in the Central Valley of California in early December 2003 and continued into early January, 2004. The mortality in the Central Valley involved Aleutian Canada geese, snow geese, Ross' geese, and several species of dabbling ducks. Avian cholera was reported during December, for the first time in five years, in snow geese as they flew south along the Mississippi River migratory pathway in Iowa and Missouri. Snow geese also died in Arkansas and texas with the same time period but where was no confirmed cause of death. The diagnosis of avian cholera was confirmed in all cases by identification of gross and histologic lesions consistent with avian cholera and the isolation of Pasteurella multocida from tissues of birds

West Nile Virus Continued Spread across North American Continent in 2003. By the end of 2003, West Nile Virus (WNV) activity was detected in 45 continental states and the District of Columbia, 7 Canadian provinces, and in several Mexican states. Interestingly, although WMV was detected in the state of Washington in 2002, WNV activity was not detected there in 2003. As of January 2004, over 13,00 dead birds have tested positive for WNV. The list of species found positive for WNV continues to grow longer, currently with over 220 avian, human cases (including 231 deaths) in 2003 were reported by public health agencies in the United States and Canada. Although the number of reported human cases was significantly greater in 2003, the actually number of severe form of disease (Meningitis/encephalitis) is similar to that reported in 2002. At this time there is direct evidence for any significant change in the virulence of the WNV strain in North America. The Midwestern states were the primary foci of activity in 2002, while in 2003 the Rocky Mountain states of CO, WY, and MT were the major foci of activity in 2003. Based on observed trends of WNV activity in North America, public health and wildlife officials in the western United States are anticipating high WNV activity in their states in 2004. It remains unknown if and when WNV will arrive in Hawaii and Alaska, and the impact WNV will have on the avifauna of theses states.

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