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National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
October 2005 to December 2005

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Misty Fjords NM 10/01/05-10/15/05 Mountain Goat 4 Viral Infection: Contagious Ecthyma AKF
AK Point Hope area 10/01/05-10/11/05 Eider, King 300 (e) Emaciation NW
AZ Moccasin Mountain, Kaibab Indian Reservation 12/18/05-12/21/05 American Crow 40 (e) Undetermined AZ
CA Grizzly Island Wildlife Area 10/11/05-10/12/05 Canada Goose 12 Lead poisoning CVL
CA San Jacinto 11/24/05-12/01/05 Gadwall, American Coot, Wigeon, American, Shoveler Northern, Black-Necked Stilt 60 (e) Botulism type C CAF
FL Daytona Beach, Lake View Estates Mobile, Home Park 12/27/05-ongoing Unidentified Gull, Herring Gull, Laughing Gull, Ring-Billed Gull, Mallard 18 (e) Aspergillosis FL, SCW
FL Panama City 09/26/05-11/15/05 American Coot 30 (e) Toxicosis: suspect NW
GA Savannah 12/18/05-12/19/05 Boat-tailed Grackle 47 Toxicosis: organophosphorus compound SCW
IA Waterloo 12/24/05-01/19/05 American Black, Mallard 500 (e) Aspergillosis NW
IL Frankfort 12/19/05-01/13/06 Canada Goose 105 (e) Lead poisoning NW
IN Auburn 12/08/05-12/23/05 Canada Goose, Mallard 54 Gout: visceral PUL
LA Morehouse County 11/15/05-12/05/05 Greater Snow Goose 100 (e) Aflatoxicosis suspect NW
MD Chesapeake Bay, 09/14/05-12/01/05 Great Blue Heron 20 Steatitis NW
MD Chesapeake Bay 08/15/05-12/01/05 Laughing Gull, Common Tern, Unidentified Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Mute Swan 40 (e) Botulism type C NW
MN Lake Winnibigoshish 10/07/05-10/13/06 American Coot 40 (e) Open NW
MN Mississippi River, Lock 4 10/10/05-10/15/05 American Coot 200 (e) Trauma: water intake pipes NW
MO East Prairie, Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area 12/07/05-01/16/06 Greater Snow Goose, Mallard, White-Fronted Goose, Canada, Goose, Shoveler Northern, Greater Snow Goose 304 (e) Avian cholera NW
MS Tallahatchie 12/15/05-12/30/05 Greater Snow Goose 20 (e) Open NW
NC Moore Co., Woodlake 11/20/05-ongoing American Coot, Bald Eagle 300 (e) Vacuolar myelinopathy NW, SCW
ND Grace City 10/19/05-10/25/05 Mallard 54 Aspergillosis NW
NY Albany 12/25/05-01/31/06 American Crow 1,000 (e) Necrotic enteritis NW, NY
OH Cleveland, Burke, Lakefront Airport 10/28/05-12/05/05 Mallard, Killdeer, American Black, Unidentified Gull, Canada Goose 20 (e) Open: toxicosis suspect NW
OH Fairfield County 11/11/05-11/11/05 Canada Goose 23 Toxicosis suspect OHD
OH Columbus 09/27/05-09/29/05 Mallard 11 Open: botulism suspect OHD
OR Yambill County 08/17/05–10/11/05 Goose, Western Canada 60 Toxicosis: rodenticide MSU
OR Charleston, Bastendorf Beach 11/25/05-11/26/05 Northern Fulmar 23 Emaciation NW
OR Fern Hill Wetlands 10/22/05-11/04/05 Cackling Goose 39 Aspergillosis NW
TX Lorenzo 12/14/05-ongoing Lesser Sandhill Crane, Lesser Snow Goose 34 (e) Open  
TX Muleshoe NWR 12/15/05-ongoing Lesser Sandhill Crane 400 (e) Mycotoxicosis suspect NW
TX Ralls 11/30/05-12/01/05 Mallard, Bullfrog 34 Open NW
UT Great Salt Lake 12/16/05-12/31/05 Eared Grebe 2,035 (e) Undetermined NON
WA Whatcom County 10/25/05-10/30/05 Wigeon, American, Pintail Northern , Mallard, Teal - Green-Winged 40 (e) Aspergillosis WA
WI Upper Mississippi NWR, Pool 9 11/20/05-12/15/05 American Coot, Scaup, Lesser, Canvasback, Mallard 20 (e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis NW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
WA Ocean Shores 07/15/05-09/15/05 Alaskan Sea Otter 3 Parasitism: Protozoal encephalitis NW
WI Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area 09/23/05-ongoing Shoveler Teal - Green-Winged, Pectoral Sandpiper, Wood, Teal - Blue-Winged 60 (e) Botulism type C NW
WI Lake Onalaska, Upper Miss NWR 08/30/05-11/25/05 American Coot, Scaup, Lesser, Teal - Blue-Winged,Ring-Necked, Mallard 4,350 (e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle, bushiensis and Sphaerioiotrema, globulus NW

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

University of Arizona Diagnostic Laboratory (AZ), California Animal Health FS Laboratory Network (CAF), University of California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (CVL), Michigan State University (MSU), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NY), No diagnostics pursued (NON), Ohio Department of Natural Resources (OHD), Purdue University Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (PUL), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Athens, GA (SCW), and Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WA)

Written and compiled by Rex Sohn -Western US, Kathryn Converse- Central 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.

USGS National Wildlife Heath Center’s Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report

King Eider Mortality in Alaska
Wildlife biologists from the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management investigated a report of morbidity and mortality in king eiders at Point Hope on October 11, 2005.  The location, which is a favorite hunting site of aboriginal people, is a narrow, sandy spit that protrudes into the Arctic Ocean.  They found approximately 100 sick and dead king eiders, which was roughly 10 percent of the population of king eiders present at the site.  No other waterbird species appeared to be affected.  Specimens were submitted to the NWHC for diagnostic evaluation.  The primary gross pathology noted at necropsy was emaciation in all specimens and nephrosis in one bird.  Laboratory tests for liver lead, routine bacterial cultures, and viral cultures produced no significant results.  Histological examination showed no significant abnormalities other than large numbers of protozoal parasites of the genus Henneguya and roundworm ova in collecting tubules of the kidney of the bird with nephrosis.  Henneguya sp. are normally parasites of fish.

Suspected mycotoxicosis in snow geese and sandhill cranes.
Starting in late November, scattered reports of mortality in snow geese were received from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. Geese from Louisiana and Arkansas had gross and microscopic changes consistent with aflatoxicosis. No geese were available in good condition from Texas.  Many tests are in progress for these events.  In mid-December, sick and dead sandhill cranes were reported in the panhandle of Texas at two locations from a population of 80,000 cranes. Moldy peanuts were present in the ingesta of scavenged and necropsied cranes.  Cranes were observed with drooping heads and necks, even in flight. The cranes also had erratic flight patterns and unusually short flights. Necropsy examinations indicate mycotoxicosis and tests are pending.

Enteritis of American Crows in New York:
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation reported that mortality of American crows began in late December 2005 at winter roosts in the Hudson River Valley.  This marks the fifth year of winter mortality of crows along at least 150 miles of the river.  Necropsy findings consist primarily of severe necrotic enteritis.  Mortalities have ranged from fewer than 100 crows to 1000 or more, typically from mid-late December through January.  Clostridium perfringens and other Clostridium species have been isolated, along with a reovirus.  In some birds, coccidia have also been detected.  Efforts are underway to fully characterize the virus and determine the roles played by it, the clostridial bacteria, and coccidia in the development of the enteritis.

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