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National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
April 2007 to June 2007

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Kenai Fjords National Park 06/12/07-06/18/07 Yellow Warbler 15 Undetermined NW
CA Monterey Bay 06/05/07-ongoing Pacific Tree Frog, Stickleback Fish, California Red-Legged Frog 100(e) Open NW
CA Monterey County 03/01/07-06/01/07 Common Murre 550(e) Emaciation: starvation CFG, OT
CA Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR 05/15/07-05/29/07 Double-Crested Cormorant 70(e) Newcastle Disease Virus NW
CA Southwest Pacific Coast 04/14/07-06/01/07 Unidentified Loon, Unidentified Cormorant, Red-Throated Loon, California Brown Pelican, Unidentified Grebe 1,000(e) Toxicosis: domoic acid (red tide) CFG, OT
CO Denver, Jefferson, & Arapahoe Counties 05/01/07-ongoing Unidentified Rabbit, Coyote, Domestic Cat, Fox Squirrel 3,000(e) Sylvatic plague CPH
FL Southeast Atlantic Coast 06/16/07-07/15/07 Greater Shearwater 500(e) Emaciation: starvation suspect NW
FL Atlantic Coast 04/10/07-05/25/07 Northern Gannet 500 Emaciation, Aspergillosis NW
IL Peoria County 05/01/07-05/08/07 Eastern Bluebird, Black-Capped Chickadee 55(e) Open NW
LA Jefferson County 05/25/07-06/08/07 Muscovy, Mallard 9 Duck plague ST
MA Monomoy NWR 06/08/07-06/18/07 Common Tern 24 Open NW
MI Sleeping Bear Dunes, National Lakeshore 06/28/07-07/20/07 Ring-Billed Gull, Piping Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Caspian Tern 40(e) Botulism type E NW
MN Aitkin County 04/21/07-05/01/07 American Goldfinch, Purple Finch 2 Salmonellosis NW
MO Moniteau County 03/30/07-03/30/07 Snow (Blue-phase) Goose 31 Aflatoxicosis suspect NW
MO Texas County 05/02/07-05/26/07 Brown-Headed Cowbird, Eastern Bluebird, Indigo Bunting, Blue Jay, Eastern Phoebe 17(e) Salmonellosis NW
ND Dickey County 04/12/07-04/23/07 Lesser Scaup 1,157(e) Parasitism: coccidiosis (Eimeria sp.) NW
NY Albany & Schoharie Counties 03/10/07-04/30/07 Little Brown Bat 4,000(e) Emaciation NW
NY Jefferson County 06/07/07-ongoing Caspian Tern, Ring-Billed Gull, Unidentified Cormorant 1000(e) Botulism type E NY
PA Centre County 05/12/07-05/25/07 Northern Long-Eared Bat, Eastern Pipistrelle Bat, Little Brown Bat 186 Emaciation NW
RI Washington County 05/22/07-05/30/07 Green Frog, Wood Frog NE* Viral Infection: Iridovirus NW
WI Outagamie County 04/22/07-04/23/07 Northern Leopard Frog 100 Open NW

(e) = estimate
* Not estimable as most frogs were in their egg stage during the death of the 10 tadpoles examined

Disease Laboratory of the California Fish & Game (CFG), Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Laboratory (CPH), New York State, DEC, Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources (NY), USGS National Wildlife Health Laboratory (NW), Other (OT), Various state lab sites (ST)

Written and compiled by: Mark Jankowski - Eastern US, Krysten Schuler - Western US and Rachel Guy - 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

Endangered piping plover die of botulism type E in Lake Michigan A botulism type E outbreak occurred from late June to mid July 2007 that resulted in at least 40 bird deaths. Twenty-five ring-billed gulls, 2 Caspian terns, 2 spotted sandpipers and 4 piping plovers died and botulinum type E toxin was confirmed in the serum of both terns, the 2 gulls tested and in the pooled sera of 3 piping plovers. The fourth piping plover was not tested for botulism type E due to insufficient sample quantity. Although ring-billed gulls were the primary species collected, there is concern about the mortality of the 4 piping plovers. Each of these plovers exhibited various stages of paralysis. A source of the toxin for the plover is not known, but scientists suggest that the plover fed upon maggots that had infested the carcasses of affected fish-eating birds. A complex cycle involving toxic algae blooms, zebra mussels, round gobies and the bacterium Clostridum botulinum is thought to lead to toxin exposure and death of fish-eating birds in Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Management strategies to reduce the exposure of the piping plover to toxin involve the removal of beached carcasses. However, the magnitude of potentially affected beaches will make it difficult to keep carcasses collected which worries those concerned about the recovery of the endangered piping plover.

Coccidiosis outbreak in lesser scaup in North Dakota thought to be caused by aeration of lake In mid-April, about 350 lesser scaup were found dead and 100 sick on the shores of Pheasant Lake in Dickey County. The emaciated birds had difficulty flying and diving. When on the ground, many birds used their wings to move themselves rather than their feet, and when they were not moving, the birds left their wings spread out and down on the ground as if using them to balance. The outbreak lasted for approximately a week and a half, at the end of which approximately 1,157 birds had died. The disease identified as coccidiosis in this case was caused by an intestinal protozoan parasite Eimeria aythyae. Outbreaks of coccidiosis have also occurred at this same lake in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 2006. It is speculated that recent aeration of the lake may have stimulated sporulation of oocysts, and in addition prevented winter ice from forming and artificially concentrated returning spring migrants. Management steps will include ceasing aeration of the lake while scaup are present to possibly reduce the amount of coccidia present and also discourage the birds from congregating.

Immature greater shearwaters die of suspected starvation along the Atlantic coast From the coast of Florida to North Carolina, immature greater shearwaters were found washed up dead on the beaches in mid-June. Over 200 dead shearwaters were counted, but it is estimated there were at least 500 dead. When approached, the few live birds were unwilling to move and appeared very emaciated. It is suspected that the young shearwaters starved to death while on a migratory route to Newfoundland, but the cause for the starvation is as yet undetermined. While it is not unusual for seabirds to die during migration, the magnitude of this particular mortality event is exceptional.

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