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National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
January 2004 to March 2004

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Valdez - Cordova County 02/25/04-04/25/04 Common Murre 8,800(e)


AL Marengo County 08/29/03-09/05/03 Mourning Dove 50(e) Parasitism: trichomoniasis SCW
AZ Pima County 02/18/04-04/23/04 Mourning Dove 108 Parasitism: trichomoniasis AZ
CA Ventura County 01/24/04-03/08/04 Unidentified Cowbird,
House Sparrow
50(e) Salmonellosis NW
CA Lake County 01/17/04-02/29/04 Ruddy Duck,
Western Gull,
Unidentified Goose,
Western Grebe
7,400(e) Avian Cholera CFG
CA Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR 02/04/04-04/15/04 Ruddy Duck,
Ring-billed Gull,
American Coot,
Eared Grebe,
Herring Gull
4,272 Avian Cholera NW
FL Polk County 12/20/03-03/01/04 Ring-billed Gull,
Laughing Gull
225(e) Salmonellosis FL, NW
FL Duval County 01/30/04-04/01/04 Eastern Brown Pelican 50(e) Open NW
FL Gulf County 03/08/04-04/03/04 Bottle-nosed Dolphin 105(e) Toxicosis: domoic acid (red tide) suspect FMR
GA Fayette County 03/08/04-04/03/04 Canada Goose 4 Vacuolar myelinopathy SCW
GA Monroe County 09/21/03-09/22/03 Mallard,
Canada Goose
13 Necrotizing myocarditis SCW
IN Patoka NWR 03/01/04-03/08/04 Common Grackle,
Rock Dove,
Mourning Dove
50(e) Trauma NW
KY Boone County 01/13/04-01/14/04 American Robin,
American Goldfinch
56 Open SCW
LA Jefferson Parish 01/07/04-01/15/04 Eastern Brown Pelican 50(e) Open NW
MS Harrison County 02/10/04-ongoing Bullfrog,
Southern Leopard Frog
30 Parasitism: Perkinsus-like organism NW
NC Martin County 01/19/04-01/21/04 Common Grackle 70(e) Open: toxicosis SCW
NM Bosque Del Apache NWR 08/30/03-09/04/03 American White Pelican,
Western Grebe
4 Viral Infection: West Nile,
Trauma: Gunshot,
Viral Infection: West Nile suspect
NM Bosque Del Apache NWR 01/05/04-01/15/04

Unidentified Goose,
Unidentified Sandhill Crane

41 Avian cholera BDA
SC Anderson County 01/15/04-01/24/04 Common Grackle,
European Starling,
Northern Cardinal
40(e) Toxicosis: Famphur SCW
TN Anderson County 03/03/04-03/04/04 Spring Peeper,
Chorus Frog
15(e) Toxicosis suspect NW
TX Buffalo Lake NWR 01/10/04-01/30/04 Lesser Sandhill Crane 100(e) Mycotoxicosis suspect NW
TX Nueces and San Patricio Counties 01/05/04-01/21/04 Eastern Brown Pelican 26 Emaciation: Parasitism,
Trauma: Impact
TX Deaf Smith County 02/14/04-02/28/04 Unidentified Dove,
Unidentified Hawk,
Barn Owl
10(e) Open NW
TX Nueces County 02/14/04-02/28/04 Northern Gannet 8(e) Open NW
TX, LA, FL, CA, GA, NY Multiple Counties 01/02/04-ongoing American Crow,
Northern Cardinal,
Blue Jay,
House Finch,
Unidentified Gull
20 Viral Infection: West Nile CDC, NW, ST
UT Salt Lake County 11/15/77-12/15/77 Eared Grebe 7,500(e) Bacterial infection UNK
WI Calumet County 07/11/03-07/07/03 Purple Martin 95(e) Starvation WI
WI Milwaukee County 03/13/04-04/16/04 Lesser Scaup,
American Coot,
Herring Gull
71 Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis,
Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globulus
WI Sauk County 01/09/04-02/29/04 Bald Eagle 7(e) Toxicosis suspect NW
WI La Crosse County 02/02/04-02/29/04 Mallard 6 Bacterial infection: Riemerella anatipestifer NW
WI Upper Mississippi NWR 03/21/04-05/01/04 Lesser Scaup,
American Coot,
Unidentified Duck,
Ring-necked Duck,
Ruddy Duck
1,100(e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis,
Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globulus
WY Carbon County 02/05/04-03/11/04 Unidentified Elk 300(e) Toxicosis: Parmelia spp. (lichen) WY
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CA San Joaquin River NWR 12/01/03-02/18/04

Aleutian Canada Goose,
Ross' Goose,
White-fronted Goose,
American Coot,
Snow Goose

121 Avian cholera NW
FL Marion County 11/15/03-03/15/04 Cattle Egret,
Great Egret
214(e) Salmonellosis FL, NW
MO Saline County 11/15/03-03/30/04 Snow Goose,
200(e) Avian Cholera NW
WA Whatcom and Skagit Counties 12/01/03-03/30/04 Trumpeter Swan 400 Lead poisoning BC, WAS
WA, OR, CA Coast 10/20/03-03/15/04 Northern Fulmar 10,000(e) Emaciation NW, SWD

(e) = estimate; * = morbidity, not mortality

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NYS), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WI), Unknown (UNK), various states labsites (ST), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Florida Marine Research Institute (FMR), Bosque Del Apache NWR (BDA), B.C. Ministry of Environment (BC), Sea World of San Diego (SWD), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WAS), California Fish and Game Wildlife Investigations Lab (CFG), Florida Game and Fish Department (FL), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZ), Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WY).

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

Avian Cholera at the Salton Sea, California. Wildlife biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and the Salton Sea Authority identified mortality in Ruddy ducks, American avocets, and eared grebes at the mouths of agricultural drains on the northwestern shoreline of the Salton Sea in early February, 2004. Carcasses of freshly dead Ruddy ducks were submitted to the NWHC and intensified airboat surveys and carcass collections on the Sea were initiated by the USFWS and California Department of Fish and Game. Pasteurella multocida was isolated from the liver of five Ruddy ducks submitted to the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC). Over the next ninety days, field crews observed mortality in ducks and other aquatic birds across the expanse of the Salton Sea. Later in the mortality, NWHC confirmed P. multocida in herring and ring-billed gulls, and American avocet, black-necked stilt, and an eared grebe. The NWHC notified waterfowl biologists of the USFWS and state wildlife management agencies in surrounding states of the occurrence of avian cholera at the Salton Sea in species that might migrate through their areas this spring. Of the total 4,272 bird carcasses retrieved during this die-off, there were 3,839 ruddy ducks, 95 American coots, 83 eared grebes, and birds from 21 other species.

Widespread Common Murre Mortality in Alaska. In late March, 2004 USFWS biologists reported mortality of common murres along the south central Alaska coast. Estimating mortality in wide-ranging pelagic birds is a very inexact undertaking but their estimate was 1,000 to 2,000 dead murres at that time. The USFWS organized beach surveys to collect suitable specimens and attempt to quantify the mortality. The NWHC received common murres and one common loon carcass from two National Wildlife Refuges and the Alaska Sea Life Center. The observations of emaciation and possible heavy GI parasitism, and traumatic injuries in murres from one Refuge, were consistent with those made by pathologists examining bird submitted for rehabilitation at the Alaska Sea Life Center. Diagnostic investigation at the NWHC have not identified any significant toxicological or infectious disease agents in the specimens submitted. The NWH Epizootic Database contains records of indicates 19 epizootics in common murres since 1982 along the Pacific coast from Alaska to central California. Estimated mortality in these events ranged from 9 birds to 11,000 birds with one large scale epizootic of 120,000 murres along the south central Alaska coast in the spring of 1993. The primary diagnoses were emaciation in 9 epizootics, open in 8 epizootics and petroleum toxicosis in 2 epizootics.

Salmonellosis Kills Cattle Egrets, Gulls in Florida. In November 2003, cattle egrets roosting at a retention pond in Marion County began dying. Specimens submitted to the University of Florida and to the NWHC were diagnosed with salmonellosis. Cattle egrets using nearby roosting areas were not affected. The mortality ended in early March 2004. A total of 214 carcasses were collected over 4 months In January and February approximately 250 ring-billed and laughing gulls were found dead or dying at two lakes in Polk county, Florida. They feed at a nearby landfill. There have been three mortality events in that area involving the two gull species; botulism was confirmed to suspected in two outbreaks and salmonellosis was confirmed in one outbreak. Gulls from the latest die-off were submitted to the University of Florida and to the NWHC and were diagnosed with salmonellosis.

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