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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
January 2007 to March 2007

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CA Butte Sink NWR, Sutter NWR 12/30/06-02/15/07 Coot, American, Duck, Wigeon American, Duck, Ruddy, Goose, Snow Lesser, Duck, Pintail Northern 4,569 (e) Avian cholera CVL, NW
CA Humboldt Bay 01/27/07-02/01/07 Coot, American, Goose, Aleutian Canada, Swan, Tundra (Whistling), Duck, Redhead, Duck, Ruddy 70 Avian cholera HUM
CA Tule Lake NWR, Bear Valley NWR 02/08/07-04/07/07 Goose, Snow Greater, Swan, Tundra (Whistling), Goose, White-Fronted Greater, Goose, Ross', Duck, Wigeon American 1,106 (e) Avian cholera NW
CA Merced NWR 01/16/07-02/01/07 Goose, Ross', Goose, Snow Lesser, Goose, Aleutian Canada, Coot, American, Stilt, Black-Necked 238 (e) Avian cholera NW
CA Santa Ana River Estuary 02/04/07-02/18/07 Duck, Ruddy, Grebe, Eared, Grebe, Western, Loon, Common, Cormorant, Brandt's 100 (e) Undetermined NW
CO Roosevelt National Forest 03/18/07-03/18/07 Salamander, Tiger 80 (e) Exposure suspect NW
DC District of Columbia 03/02/07-03/22/07 Gull, Ring-Billed 15 (e) Trauma NW
FL Key West 02/04/07-02/15/07 Seabird, Unidentified, Pelican, Brown NOS 40 (e) Toxicosis: domoic acid (red tide) suspect UNK
FL Polk County 01/25/07-02/07/07 Pelican, American White 20 (e) Botulism type C NW
FL Volusia County 01/24/07-01/24/07 Pigeon, unidentified 15 Toxicosis: carbofuran suspect KDL
GA Liberty County 01/15/07-01/25/07 Heron, Great Blue, Cormorant, Double-Crested, Eagle, Bald 4 Undetermined NW, SCW
GA Chatham County 12/18/06-02/01/07 Cormorant, Double-Crested 39 Parasitism: renal coccidiosis KDL, CW
IA Johnson County, Linn County 02/10/07-02/23/07 Goose, Canada, Duck, Mallard 51 Trauma NW
MD St Mary's County 01/30/07-02/20/07 Pelican, Eastern Brown 33 Emaciation: weather conditions suspect MD, NW
MO Wayne County 02/02/07-02/10/07 Coot, American Coot, Duck, Mallard, Duck, Shoveler Northern, Duck, Ring-Necked, Hawk, Red-Tailed 300 (e) Avian cholera NW
NE Buffalo County 03/30/07-03/31/07 Crane, Lesser Sandhill 17 Aflatoxicosis suspsect NW
OH Warren County 02/22/07-02/23/07 Coot, American, Duck, Canvasback, Duck, Redhead 75 (e) Trauma: gunshot NW
OH Warren County 01/10/07-01/11/07 Blackbird, Brewer's 27 Trauma NW
OR Coastal Oregon, Multiple Counties 03/01/07-03/25/07 Auklet, Rhinoceros, Puffin, Horned, Puffin, Tufted, Fulmar, Northern, Murre, Common 200 (e) Emaciation: starvation suspect NW
OR Midland 01/07/07-02/01/07 Duck, Mallard, Goose, Canada, Swan, Tundra (Whistling) 1,500 (e) Lead poisoning NW
OR Salem 02/02/07-02/03/07 Robin, American 75 (e) Open: toxicosis suspect NW, OR
PA Crawford County 02/28/07-03/01/07 Coot, American, Goose, Canada 52 Emaciation, Hemosiderosis suspect NVL, NW, UPA
TX Bastrop County 01/21/07-01/21/07 Duck, Gadwall 25 (e) Undetermined NW
TX North Austin 03/05/07-03/06/07 Waxwing, Cedar 50 (e) Toxicosis suspect UNK
UT Fish Springs NWR 01/24/07-01/31/07 Duck, Gadwall, Duck, Mallard, Coot, American 300 (e) Emaciation NW
VA Westmoreland County 01/30/07-02/20/07 Pelican, Eastern Brown, Northumberland County 33 Emaciation: weather conditions suspect MD, NW
WA Snohomish County 01/03/07-01/24/07 Coot, American 20 Trauma: gunshot NW, WAS
WI Madison 02/19/07-02/20/07 Coot, American 25 (e) Emaciation NW
WI LaCrosse County 03/29/07-05/01/07 Coot, American, Duck, Scaup Lesser 1,000 (e) Parasitism: trematodiasis NW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
FL Indian River County 12/18/06-01/01/07 Pelican, Easter Brown, Pelican, American White 13 Open NW
NM Sandoval County 11/10/06-02/06/07 Duck, Mallard, Coot, American 156 Botulism type C NW
MD Talbot County 10/25/06-01/04/07 Heron, Great Blue 15 (e) Steatitis NW
MO Swan Lake NWR 12/16/06-12/23/06 Goose, Snow Lesser 45 (e) Avian Cholera NW

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

Humboldt State University Department of Wildlife (HUM), Kissimmee Animal Diagnostic Laboratory (KDL), Maryland Diagnostic Laboratory (MD), Oregon State Diagnostic Laboratory (OR), National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVL), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), University of California Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (CVL), University of Pennsylvania (UPA), Unknown (UNK), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WI), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WAS).

Written and compiled by: Mark Jankowski - Eastern US, Krysten Schuler - Western US, Kathryn Converse, and Jennifer Buckner – Technician.

To report mortality or receive information about this report, please contact the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711:

Eastern United States

Mark Jankowski
Wildlife Disease Ecologist
Phone: (608) 270-2443
FAX: (608) 270-2415
Email: mjankowski@usgs.gov

Western United States

Krysten Schuler
Wildlife Disease Ecologist
Phone: (608) 270-2447
FAX: (608) 270-2415
Email: kschuler@usgs.gov

Hawaiian Islands

Thierry Work
Wildlife Disease Ecologist
P.O. Box 50167
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm 8-132
Honolulu, HI 96850
Phone: (808) 792-9520
FAX: (808) 792-9596
Email: Thierry_work@usgs.gov

National Wildlife Health Center Quarterly Mortality Report

Marine bird mortality along Oregon coast. During March 2007, unusually high numbers of horned and tufted puffins were found dead along the Oregon coast with eight other species. The birds were found during volunteer surveys for beached birds. An estimated 200 dead birds have been counted. Rhinoceros auklets and horned and tufted puffins were the primary species involved. The birds appeared freshly dead and most seemed very thin. Horned and tufted puffins submitted to the USGS NWHC were emaciated with no evidence of food in the digestive tract. The higher than expected numbers of birds observed could reflect a change in the number of birds this year, a change in winter distribution or a change in ocean conditions. Biologists with the NOAA report that there is abundant phytoplankton but numbers of small forage fish may be down. The USFWS biologists suggest that the puffins may have moved down from Alaska in poor condition due to reduced food resources there. The generally poor condition of birds in these populations may also be linked to the poor marine food resources in 2006. See The Newport News Times 4/6/2007

Mystery deaths in California piscivorous birds. In February 2007, an estimated 100 piscivorous birds were found dying or dead in the area of the Santa-Ana River Estuary. Intoxication was suspected based on the clinical signs and breadth of species. Gulls, grebes, cormorants, loons, pelicans, night herons, auklets, and scaup and ruddy ducks were the primary species collected. Birds were necropsied by ANTEC Diagnostics Labs and the NWHC, most birds were in good flesh and there were no gross indications of infectious disease. On microscopic examination of tissue there was some myopathy present. Brain cholinesterase levels were normal indicating no exposure to organophosphorus or carbamate compounds. Caron Labs at USC determined stomach contents from one cormorant were positive for Domoic Acid (DA) while tests on blood for DA on other birds were negative. Recent algal samples from Orange County had very little Pseuod-nitzschia present.

Lead poisoning in waterfowl leads to eagle deaths in Oregon. During the months of January and February 2007, approximately 1500 mallards died from lead poisoning after feeding in a flooded agricultural field near Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon. Mallards collected in January and February had liver lead concentrations of 19.99 – 46.68 ppm and 17.51 – 54.00 ppm, normalized to wet liver, respectively. These levels are known to be lethal in mallards. Lead pellets were present in the gizzards of some ducks. Furthermore, after observing approximately 100 bald eagles scavenging mallards, refuge staff live-trapped 8 bald eagles and 1 golden eagle to collect blood for lead analysis. Blood lead levels for all eagles ranged from 0.04 to 0.31 ppm, wet weight, and none were below the detection limit of 0.02 ppm. One bald eagle found dead in February was necropsied and determined to have died from lead poisoning (0.17 ppm, liver wet weight). Biologists assume that the birds obtained the lead pellets on this former waterfowl hunting area. Alternatively, local land contamination with lead pellets resulting from efforts to control nuisance birds is also possible. Cold weather conditions may have concentrated local mallards for an extended period in one of the few remaining unfrozen water bodies in south-central OR. The source of the lead remains equivocal.

Severe winter weather leads to deaths of juvenile pelicans in Maryland. Following a month of extremely cold weather conditions in January and February 2007, weak or dead young-of-year eastern brown pelicans were observed along coastal Maryland and Virginia. An estimated 95 pelicans were found weak and many were taken into rehabilitation. All sick and dead pelicans were in poor condition with foot lesions consistent with frostbite and some birds also had respiratory distress, coughing and head shaking. Many birds were euthanized. A diagnostic finding of interest was the presence of gapeworms (Cyathostoma sp.) in some birds. No other specific pathogens were isolated. A similar mortality event involving 50 brown pelicans occurred in this area January and February 2003 during a similar period of harsh weather conditions.

Bovine Tuberculosis in Minnesota wild deer. From January to March 2007, six wild deer were diagnosed with suspected cases of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in northwestern Minnesota. Bovine TB was first discovered in a MN cattle herd in early 2005 near Skime, MN. Since 2005, only seven wild deer have been found to be infected with the disease. As of October 2006, six additional cattle herds were found to be infected, all in northwestern Minnesota. Officials believe contact between cattle and deer can spread bovine TB to the deer population. All of the bovine TB positive deer have been located on or within a few miles of TB positive cattle farms. A TB Management Zone for infected deer has been created over a 20-mile by 20-mile area that covers the intersection of Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Marshall and Beltrami counties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services is working at reducing the deer population, within the TB Management Zone, to reduce the risk of ongoing transmission potential between deer and cattle.

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