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National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
January 2008 to March 2008

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Montague Island, Chugach NF 03/15/08-ongoing Bald Eagle 6 Open NW
AR City of Marion 01/08/08-01/10/08 Ross' Goose 12 (e) Trauma NW
AR City of McNeil 01/23/08-01/27/08 American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch 50 (e) Salmonellosis NW
AR De Witt Area 01/01/08-01/05/08 Mallard 6 Undetermined NW
AZ Maricopa County 01/30/08-01/31/08 Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Unidentified Pigeon 20 Toxicosis: strychnine NW
CA Butte Valley WA, Lower Klamath Area 02/19/08-04/01/08 Tundra (Whistling) Swan, Northern Pintail, Lesser Snow Goose, Ross' Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose 10,000 (e) Avian cholera suspect NON
CA Alameda County 02/13/08-02/22/08 Ruddy Duck, Mallard, Bufflehead, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon 260 Avian cholera CFG, UCD
CA Sacramento County 02/09/08-02/09/08 American Coot 20 (e) Trauma: impact NON
CA Yolo County 02/20/08-02/24/08 American Coot 400 (e) Avian cholera suspect CFG
CA Bay Delta 01/21/08-02/01/08 Canvasback, American Coot, Tundra (Whistling) Swan 30 (e) Avian cholera suspect NON
CA Lower Klamath NWR 12/10/07-01/07/08 Mallard, Northern Pintail, American Coot 100 (e) Lead poisoning NW
CA Marina State Beach 01/20/08-01/21/08 California Gull 100 (e) Undetermined NON
CA Merced NWR 02/22/08-03/01/08 Ross' Goose, American Coot, Mallard, Greater White-fronted Goose, Northern Pintail 156 Avian cholera NW
CA Napa-Sonoma Marshes WA 02/05/08-02/07/08 Ruddy Duck, Gadwall 12 (e) Avian cholera suspect CFG
CA Sutter County 01/20/08-01/25/08 Lesser Snow Goose 5 Avian cholera suspect CFG
CA Humboldt County 01/07/08-01/14/08 American Coot, Ruddy Duck, Northern Shoveler, Bufflehead, Western Sandpiper 1,200 (e) Avian cholera suspect CFG
CA Sutter County 01/10/08-01/17/08 American Coot, Greater White-fronted Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, Gadwall, Ruddy Duck 800 (e) Avian cholera suspect CFG
CA Redding 02/12/08-ongoing Skunk, Unidentified Fox, Raccoon, Gray Fox 60 (e) Open UCD
CA Richardson Bay 02/08/08-02/22/08 Greater Scaup, Clark's Grebe, Bufflehead, Western Grebe 303 Avian cholera NW, UCD
CA Sacramento Delta 01/18/08-01/29/08 Tundra (Whistling) Swan, Northern Pintail, Mallard, Violet-Green Swallow, American Coot 400 (e) Avian cholera UCD
CA Shasta Valley WA 02/28/08-03/06/08 American Wigeon, American Coot, Canvasback, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal 100 Avian cholera suspect NON
CA Southern California 01/01/08-ongoing Red-tailed Hawk 18 (e) Chlamydiosis SDC, UCD
CA Tule Lake NWR, Lower Klamath NWR 01/31/08-04/13/08 Northern Pintail, Tundra (Whistling) Swan, American Wigeon, American Coot, Snow Goose 4,581 Avian cholera NW
CA Mendocino County 02/01/08-02/08/08 American Coot 48 (e) Avian cholera suspect NON
CA Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area 01/29/08-01/30/08 American Coot 30 (e) Avian cholera suspect CFG
CA Yolo County 02/01/08-02/08/08 American Coot, Unidentified Duck 4,600 (e) Avian cholera suspect NON
CT New Milford 03/17/08-ongoing Big Brown Bat, Northern Long-eared Bat, Little Brown Bat *** Open NW, UCT
DE Millsboro 01/14/08-01/28/08 Common Grackle 200 (e) Open NW
FL Milton 03/07/08-03/26/08 Eastern Brown Pelican 10 (e) Botulism suspect NW
FL Miami 02/06/08-03/03/08 Muscovy Duck, White Ibis 36 (e) Botulism type C FL, NW, SCW
FL Ponte Vedra Beach 03/27/08-04/18/08 Northern Gannet, Common Loon 12 Undetermined FL
IA Blue Lake 02/15/08-03/13/08 Mallard, Canada Goose 110 (e) Lead poisoning NW
IA Cedar Rapids 02/13/08-02/22/08 Canada Goose 20 (e) Aflatoxicosis NON
IA Saylorville Reservoir 01/02/08-01/08/08 Canada Goose 150 (e) Aflatoxicosis suspect NW
ID Ada County 02/29/08-03/01/08 Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Raccoon, Wood Duck 19 Toxicosis: zinc phosphide NW
KS Lake McKinney 03/14/08-ongoing Lesser Snow Goose, Mallard, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal 550 (e) Avian cholera NW
MA Chester Mines 01/15/08-ongoing Eastern Pipistrelle, Northern Long-eared Bat, Little Brown Bat 200 (e) Open NW
MD Frederick 03/29/08-04/01/08 Fish Crow 11 Open MD, NW
MD Salisbury Area 01/05/08-01/07/08 Common Grackle, Blue Jay 100 (e) Toxicosis suspect MDA, NW
MI Lake St. Clair, Multiple Counties 03/02/08-03/19/08 Canvasback, Redhead Duck 1,500 (e) Malnutrition ST
MI Leland Harbor 03/09/08-03/28/08 Lesser Scaup, White-winged Scoter, Long-Tailed Duck (AKA Oldsquaw), Unidentified Goldeneye, Bufflehead 100 (e) Malnutrition MI
MN Beaver Township 02/27/08-04/01/08 Rock Dove 40 (e) Open NW
MO Ten Mile Pond, Conservation Area 01/05/08-01/07/08 Lesser Snow Goose 75 (e) Avian cholera NW
NE Rainwater Basin WPAs 02/26/08-03/26/08 Lesser Snow Goose, Northern Pintail, Mallard, Ross' Goose, American Wigeon 430 Avian cholera NW
NJ Trenton 01/10/08-01/14/08 American Crow 5 (e) Enteritis: hemorrhagic NJ, NW
NM Bosque del Apache NWR 12/01/07-03/03/08 Lesser Snow Goose, Ross' Goose, Mallard, Unidentified Sandhill Crane, Northern Pintail 7,000 (e) Avian cholera NMV
NY Hailes Cave 01/01/08-ongoing Big Brown Bat, Little Brown Bat *** Open COR, NW
NY Multiple Counties 12/25/07-04/01/08** American Crow 1,000 (e) Enteritis: hemorrhagic NW, NY
OH Coshocton 01/07/08-03/01/08 American Crow 150 Enteritis: hemorrhagic NW
OK Major County 02/04/08-02/07/08 Unidentified Sandhill Crane 85 (e) Open NW
OR Portland 01/22/08-01/25/08 American Robin 50 (e) Undetermined NW
OR Washington County 01/04/08-01/06/08 Canada Goose 7 Toxicosis: zinc phosphide NW
SD LaCreek NWR 02/20/08-02/24/08 Mallard, Unidentified Goose 10 Predation NW
VT Aeolus Cave 01/01/08-ongoing Little Brown Bat, Northern Long-eared Bat 1,000 (e) Open NW
WA Birch Bay 03/01/08-03/03/08 White-winged Scoter, Trumpeter Swan 11 (e) Pulmonary edema NW
WA Moses Lake 03/20/08-03/24/08 Ring-billed Gull 50 (e) Open NW
WA King County 02/16/08-02/23/08 Varied Thrush 28 Undetermined NW
WY Red Rim Area 03/01/08-04/01/08** Elk 80 (e) Toxicosis: Parmelia spp. (lichen) WY
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
Atlantic Coast, Multiple States 06/16/07-07/15/07 Greater Shearwater 2,500 (e) Emaciation NW
CA Los Angeles County 08/27/07-12/17/07 Gray Fox, Raccoon 12 Canine distemper OT
CA Butte Sink NWR, Colusa NWR, Sacramento NWR 11/29/07-02/14/08 American Coot, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon 3,647 Avian cholera NW
CA San Joaquin NWR 12/12/07-01/04/08 Aleutian Canada Goose, American Coot, Lesser Snow Goose, Green-winged Teal 421 Avian cholera NW
MA Jeremy Point 10/01/07-12/10/07 Common Eider 2,400 (e) Hepatic necrosis NW
MT Georgetown Lake 09/19/07-11/01/07 American Coot 2,500 (e) Emaciation,Parasitism:Cyathocotyle bushiensis, Parasitism: Coccidiosis NW

(e) = estimate, ** Cessation date estimated, *** Mortality estimate not available at this time, "suspect" = Diagnosis is not finalized, but field signs and historic patterns indicate the disease.

California Fish & Game (CFG), Cornell University (COR), Florida Fish & Game (FL), Maryland Diagnostic Laboratory (MD), Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MI), New Jersey Department of Fish & Game (NJ), New Mexico Veterinary Diagnostic Services (NMV), No Diagnostics Pursued (NON), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), NY State Department, DEC, Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources (NY), Other (OT), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), Dan Diego County Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (SDC), Various State Labsites (ST), UC Davis (UCD), University of Connecticut Wildlife Laboratory (UCT), Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WY).

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

Anne Ballmann
Wildlife Disease Specialist
Phone: (608) 270-2445
FAX: (608) 270-2415
Email: aballmann@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

Quarterly Mortality Reports

Outbreaks of Avian Cholera in the Central Flyway (NM, KS, NE)
Incidents of avian cholera have not occurred in the Central Flyway in recent years, but three separate events occurred in early 2008. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico reported the worst outbreak of avian cholera in refuge history. The die-off began in December and subsided in early March with the death of an estimated 7000 birds. The majority of losses were reported in lesser snow geese, but Ross’ geese, multiple duck species, American coots, and sandhill cranes were also affected. Minor cholera outbreaks occur yearly, but the last large scale events were in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001.   In addition to the NM outbreak, avian cholera was found in the Rainwater Basin refuges in southcentral Nebraska and Lake McKinney in west Kansas with mortality estimates of 300 and 550 waterfowl, respectively. Avian cholera had not been reported in Kansas since 1998. The Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District comprises 60 different waterfowl production areas: Hultine, Gleason, and Lindau WPA were confirmed to be affected by avian cholera.

Tundra Swan Mortality from Avian Cholera in the Lower Klamath Area (CA)
Avain cholera mortality began in northern California at the end of January 2008 at Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges followed by mortality at Butte Valley WA in mid February. USFWS Refuge staff collected 1194 Tundra swans and 1164 northern pintails on Lower Klamath NWR with more than 410 birds collected from Tule Lake NWR. CA Dept of Fish & Game staff collected 709 birds and estimated the mortality at Butte Valley WA to be 10,000. Snow geese, ruddy ducks, American wigeon, and American coots were some of the other species affected. Scavenging activity by bald eagles likely reduced the number of carcasses reported. Occasional bald eagles were confirmed to be affected by avian cholera over the past two years in this area. Tundra swan mortality due to avian cholera had not been reported since 1999, but annual swan mortality from lead poisoning continues in this area.

Unusual mortality in Red-tailed Hawks from Chlamydiosis (CA)
Mortality investigations by San Diego County veterinarians and CA Dept of Fish & Game have confirmed Chlamydiophila bacteria in red-tailed hawks in southern California coastal counties. The first reports of sick hawks came in mid-January from wildlife rehabilitators in San Diego County of birds that were emaciated and not responding to treatment. Chlamydiosis also is known as Parrot fever, psittacosis, and ornithosis. It is not commonly reported in raptors. The infectious bacteria can be spread by fluids and excreta, particularly when materials dry and the bacteria become airborne. Chlamydiosis can be a serious human health concern and should be mentioned to a treating physician by anyone that handles infected birds.

Elk mortality from lichen poisoning in Red Rim area of Wyoming (WY)
Nearly 80 elk found sick and unable to stand were euthanized in the Red Rim area near Rawlins spring 2008. Elk were thought to have eaten a lichen, Xanthoparmelia chlorochroa, that produces a toxic metabolite. Affected elk initially produce red urine. Severely afflicted animals are alert, but not able to stand prior to death. The first reported occurrence of lichen poisoning of this type was an event in 2004 that killed more than 400 elk. Both 2004 and 2008 were particularly harsh winters that may have contributed to elk searching out new sources of forage. Researchers with Wyoming Game and Fish and University of Wyoming have examined the incidents. 

Enteritis in American crows USA (multiple states)
Since late December 2007, deaths among American crows associated with a reovirus-like virus have been observed in five states: New York, Massachusetts, Iowa, Ohio, and New Jersey. Low mortality in crows with enteritis and isolation of reo-like viruses has been diagnosed at the NWHC nearly annually since 2001. Other states with a history of crow enteritis mortality include KY, MD, WA, WI, KS, PA, MO and the District of Columbia. Although pathogenicity tests have not yet been performed, it is speculated that the virus replicates in the intestines, and is transmitted through the feces. The disease seems more common at winter roost sites, although it has also been seen sporadically in summer and fall.

Bat white-nosed syndrome in the northeastern USA (NY, VT, MA, and CT)
White-nose syndrome (WNS) among bats reappeared in the eastern states this winter after first being reported in caves near Albany, NY in February 2007 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Since March 2008, biologists and cavers have documented deaths of thousands of bats of various species at over 25 caves and mines in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Little brown bats have sustained the highest mortality. Although mortality has not been seen in the endangered Indiana bats, they are being watched closely. WNS also was observed in West Virginia and Pennsylvania without associated mortality. While the “white-nose” describes various fungi seen on the muzzles (also limbs and tail webs) of some bats, the predominant finding among affected animals has been emaciation. Fungal growth may be secondary to the underlying cause of death. Diagnostic investigations are continuing at labs at New York Department of Conservation, Cornell University, USGS-National Wildlife Health Center, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom., Bay Lake FL .

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