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National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
January 2005 to March 2005

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Fairbanks, North Star Borough 01/03/05 - 02/18/05 Common Redpoll 110 (e) Enteritis AK
AZ Pima County 06/01/04 - 04/15/05 Collared (Javelina) Peccary 60 (e) Salmonellosis AZ
AZ Santa Cruz County 12/18/04 - 02/06/05 Chiricahua Leopard Frog 7 Fungal Infection: chytrid NW
AZ Yavapai County, Cottonwood 01/14/05 - 01/21/05 House Sparrow 6 (e) Salmonellosis NW
CA Los Angeles County 01/11/05 - 02/07/05 Western Grebe, Eared Grebe, Clark's Grebe, Surf Scoter, Brandt's Cormorant 5,000 (e) Toxicosis: petroleum (oil) UCD
CA Mission Beach to Mexican border 02/09/05 - ongoing California Gull, Western Gull, Western Snowy Plover, Herring Gull, Ring-Billed Gull 110 (e) Open SDC
CA San Diego to Mexican border 03/30/04 - 07/1/04 Western Snowy Plover 17 Open FWS
CA Santa Cruz to Eureka 02/01/05 - 05/01/05 Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow 2,400 (e) Salmonellosis CFG
CA Sacramento NWR, 02/17/05 - 02/18/05 Shoveler, Gadwall, Herring Gull 10 (e) Open NW
CA San Joaquin River NWR 12/20/04 - 02/04/05 Aleutian Canada Goose, American Coot, Ross' Goose, Snow Goose, Shoveler 222 Avian cholera NW
FL Hernando Co. 03/01/05 - 03/08/05 Bullfrog, Southern Leopard Frog, Gopher Frog 1,000 (e) Parasitism: Perkinsus-like organism NW
FL Putnam County 03/19/05 - 03/26/05 Bullfrog, Gopher Frog, Southern Leopard Frog 31 (e) Parasitism Perkinsus - like organism NW
GA Cobb County 01/19/05 - 01/20/05 Unidentified Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, White-Throated 5 Trauma SCW
GA Madison County, Hull 02/16/05 - 02/18/05 Common Grackle 40 (e) Toxicosis: diazinon SCW
GA Turner Co, GA 02/23/05 - 02/23/05 American Robin, European Starling 6 Toxicosis: organophosphorus cmpd. Suspect SCW
KY Fort Knox, Hardin Co. 01/20/05 - 01/20/05 European Starling 60 (e) Open USA
MD Harford Co 02/01/05 - 03/14/05 Common Grackle 72 (e) Trauma NW
MD Howard Co., Columbia Mall 02/09/05 - 02/09/05 Cedar Waxwing 28 Open: toxicosis NW
MD Queen Anne's Co., 03/14/05 - 03/14/05 Canada Goose 6 Lead SCW
MN Park Rapids area 02/12/05 - 03/15/05 Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, American GoldFinch, Evening Grosbeak 45 (e) Salmonellosis MN
MT Lake County, Moiese 11/13/04 - 01/30/05 Mallard 75 (e) Aspergillosis NW
MT Near Ninepipes NWR, Ronan 03/01/04 - 03/01/04 Painted Turtle 68 (e) Open NW
MT Stinger Creek Headwaters 03/22/05 - 03/22/05 Columbia Spotted Frog 5 (e) Trauma NW
NC Currituck Co, Mackey Island NWR 03/03/05 - 03/06/05 Snow Goose 28 Gout: visceral NW
NC Pasquotank County 01/14/05 - 01/28/05 Tundra (Whistling) Swan, Snow Goose 161 (e) Gout: visceral NW
NE Alliance 04/01/04 - 04/15/05 Red-Winged Blackbird 15 (e) Open NW
NE Rainwater Basin WMD 02/15/05 - 03/22/05 Snow Goose, Mallard, Pintail 150 Avian cholera NW
NV White Pine County, 01/04/05 - 01/30/05 Northern Flicker, Screech Owl 17 Open NW
NY Staten Island, Richmond Co. 10/01/04 - 10/01/04 Eastern Cottontail 10 (e) Tularemia CDC
OR Oregon west of the Cascade Range 12/15/04 - 3/15/05 House Finch, American GoldFinch, Pine Siskin, Great Black-Backed Gull 1,200 (e) Salmonellosis (S. typhimurium) OR
PA Westmoreland Co 03/01/05 - 03/01/05 Mute Swan 3 Parasitism: Schistosomiasis suspect NW, PA
SC Georgetown County 03/11/05 - 03/12/05 Boat-tailed Grackle 50 (e) Toxicosis: acephate (OP) SCW
TX Houston 03/10/05 - 04/10/05 Brown-Headed, American Robin, European Starling 1,000 (e) Open NW
VA Virginia Beach County 02/21/05 - 03/31/05 Snow Goose 200 (e) Gout: visceral NW
WA Coastal areas Puget Sound 12/01/04 - ongoing Trumpeter Swan, Tundra (Whistling) Swan 268 Lead poisoning BC, WA
WI Columbia County 01/24/05 - 03/10/05 Bald Eagle 5 Trauma: impact NW, WI
WV Pocahontas County 03/14/05 - 03/14/05 Red-Winged Blackbird, Common Grackle 34 (e) Toxicosis: Famphur SCW
WY Goshen County 02/09/05 - 02/17/05 Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch 24 (e) Salmonellosis WY
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
ONT Lake Ontario, Canada 08/21/04 - 01/31/05 Long-Tailed Duck, Double-Crested Cormorant, Herring Gull, Common Loon, Ring-Billed Gull 1,600 (e) Botulism type E TOR
PA Presque Isle State Park 06/18/04 - 01/15/05 Common Loon, Long-Tailed Duck, Ring-Billed Gull, Herring Gull 1,000 (e) Botulism type E CCW, NW, NY

(e) = estimate

Alaska Fish and Game Department (AK), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZ), B.C. Ministry of Environment (BC), Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center (CCW), Center for Disease Control (CDC), California Fish and Game Wildlife Investigations Lab (CFG), Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NY), Oregon Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife (OR), Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University (PA), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), San Diego County Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (SDC), Environment Ministry Laboratory of Toronto (TOR), Wyoming Game and Fish (WY), Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WA), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI) , US Army, Fort Meade (USA), University of California Davis (UCD), US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

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

Quarterly Mortality Reports

Disease in Western Snowy Plovers and Gulls along the Southern California Coast. In early February 2005, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists began receiving reports of sick and dead adult western snowy plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) along the California coast from the northern end of San Diego Bay to the Mexican border.  This segment of coastline contains many active and inactive military sites and receives input from rivers containing industrial, agricultural, and urban wastewater.  By the middle of May 2005, twenty one sick or dead adult western snowy plovers had been recovered.  The Pacific coast population of the Western Snowy Plover was listed as federally threatened in 1993 and this was a significant proportion of the breeding population in the area.  Sick birds were alert, showed no interest in eating, were unable to fly, and many were unable to stand.  Birds were in fair to good body condition. Morbidity and mortality in western snowy plovers with clinical signs of nervous system impairment was first observed in this area in 2002 and the incidence of affected adult birds has increased every year.  Similar clinical signs have also been reported in several species of gulls in the area during the last two years.  Diagnostic evaluation of affected western snowy plovers and gulls by the San Diego County Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and the California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab has found no infectious or toxic disease agents to date.  Similar disease has not been observed in other populations of western snowy plovers or gulls along the southern California coast.

High numbers of birds fatally oiled in California. The University of California Davis. International Bird rescue Research Center and California Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response reported a petroleum spill into the Santa Clara River on January 11, 2005 that dispersed along 80 miles of the Ventura and Los Angeles County coastlines.  An estimated 3,000-5,000 birds were oiled and died.  Birds that concentrate off shore, including Clark’s and Western grebes and common loons were most affected in the spill. There were 1,400 birds brought in rehabilitation and over 300 died or were euthanized because of their injuries. This oil spill was stated to be the most damaging to wildlife since a 1990 tanker spill.  Efforts to pinpoint the source of this spill were unsuccessful.

Visceral gout in snow geese and tundra swans.  Visceral gout was determined as the cause of death in snow geese submitted to the NWHC during January from Pasquotank County North Carolina, March in Mackey Island NWR North Carolina, and February from Back Bay NWR in Virginia.  There were no kidney parasites present and bacteriology and virology yielded no significant findings. Severe acute renal tubular necrosis was present with no inflammation and exposure to a nephrotoxin was suspected.  A corn sample from Virginia was tested for nephrotoxins (Ochratoxin A, Citrinin, Oosporein) and results were negative (below detectable limits). Similar episodes of visceral gout occurred in the same species in Virginia in 1980 and 1981 and in North Carolina in 1979,1992, 1994 and 2002.

Salmonellosis confirmed in migrating songbirds in Oregon and California.The first west coast outbreak of salmonellosis this winter was reported in pine siskins and redpolls in Juneau, Alaska in November 2004, followed by outbreaks involving pine siskins and American goldfinches in Oregon in December 2004 and Wyoming and California in February 2005.  The source of salmonella infections in migrating passerines has not been determined.

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