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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
April 2008 to June 2008

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Nenana 05/10/08-05/12/08 Domestic Chicken, Unidentified Avian 11(e) Bacterial infection suspect NVL
AR Hot Springs Village 04/20/08-06/07/08 Carolina Chickadee, Eastern Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Bluebird 240 Parasitism: Simulidae NW
AZ Biltmore Lake 06/01/08-ongoing Mallard, Unidentified Goose , NOS Passerine, Canada Goose 70(e) Botulism type C NW
AZ Maricopa 05/01/08-ongoing Muscovy Duck, Mallard 30(e) Botulism suspect NW
CA Santa Cruz 06/18/08-ongoing California Red-legged Frog 8 Open NW
CA Fresno 06/16/08-06/20/08 Western Canada Goose 50(e) Undetermined CHF
CA Lancaster 04/06/08-04/30/08 Mourning Dove 60(e) Trichomoniasis suspect LAV
CA Natomas Basin Conservancy Preserve 04/04/08-04/09/08 Greater White-fronted Goose 50(e) Avian cholera UCD
CO Curecanti National Recreation Area 04/15/08-04/24/08 Common Merganser, Common Goldeneye 34(e) Parasitism: acanthocephaliasis NW
FL Brandon 05/02/08-05/14/08 Muscovy Duck 21 Duck plague suspect SCW
FL Islamorada 06/09/08-06/29/08 Eurasian Collared Dove 33 Salmonellosis suspect NON
FL Sanford 06/12/08-06/26/08 Mallard 11 Botulism suspect FL, NW
FL St. Marks NWR 04/04/08-04/11/08 Common Loon, Red Breasted Merganser 100(e) Undetermined NON
FL Tampa 05/06/08-05/19/08 Muscovy Duck 18 Duck plague suspect FL
FL Venice 03/28/08-04/18/08 Eastern Brown Pelican 10 Emaciation, Mycoplasma FL, NW
GA Jeff Davis 04/01/08-05/01/08 Eastern Tufted Titmouse, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Cardinal, American Robin 30(e) Salmonellosis suspect NON
IA Rush Lake WMA 04/07/08-05/12/08 American Coot, Mallard , Greater White-fronted Goose , Wood Duck, Lesser Snow Goose, Ring-necked Duck, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Redhead, Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Scaup, Greater Scaup, Blue-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, Green-winged Teal, Canada Goose, American Wigeon 224 Avian cholera NW
ME Milford 05/01/08-06/01/08 Spotted Salamander 4,500(e) NOS Fungal Infection NW
MT Jefferson 01/01/08-04/01/08 Bighorn Sheep 220(e) Pneumonia MT
MT Ennis Lake 04/26/08-05/18/08 Eared Grebe 39 Parasitism NW
MT Ennis Lake 06/19/08-06/26/08 Audubon's (Yellow- rumped) Warbler, Cassin's Finch, Unidentified Swallow, Unidentified Bluebird, Western Tanager 19 Salmonellosis NW
MT Rattlesnake Lake 03/15/08-05/23/08 Nothern Shoveler, Gadwall, Northern Pintail , Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup, Eared Grebe 105 Parasitism:Sphaeridiotrema globulus NW
MT Yellowstone 04/24/08-04/24/08 Red-winged Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird 20(e) Trauma NW
NC Chowan 12/07/07-12/12/07 Common Grackle 10(e) Undetermined SCW
ND Lake Nettie NWR 05/21/08-07/07/08 Ring-billed Gull 50 Pneumonia NW
ND Mclean 04/01/08-05/02/08 Pine Siskin 12(e) Salmonellosis NW
ND White Lake 06/20/08-ongoing Mallard, Gadwall , Eared Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Franklin's Gull, Unidentified Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, American Coot 110(e) Salt toxicosis NW
NE Keith 05/26/08-ongoing House Sparrow 22(e) Viral Infection suspect NW
NH Hollis 05/30/08-06/07/08 Barn Swallow 7 Emaciation: starvation suspect NW
NH Sargents Purchase 05/04/08-ongoing Little Brown Bat 10(e) Open NW
NV Clark 05/13/08-05/29/08 Eared Grebe 15(e) Undetermined NW
NY East Hampton 05/16/08-05/16/08 Herring Gull 30(e) Emaciation, Pulmonary edema NW, NY
OR Mt. Hood, National Forest 05/04/08-05/14/08 Pacific Treefrog, Rough-skinned Newt, Oregon Spotted Frog 24 Open NW
OR Crook 03/26/08-06/08/08 Golden Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk 11(e) Toxicosis: Famphur suspect NW
PR Culebrones 03/15/08-03/15/08 Sooty Moustached Bat 20(e) Emaciation NW
RI Wakefield 05/18/08-06/05/08 Spotted Salamander, Marbled Salamander, Wood Frog 81,000(e) Ranavirus NW
SC Poinsett State Park 05/17/08-05/24/08 NOS Frog 200(e) Open UNK
TN Black Bayou Refuge 01/20/08-01/26/08 Lesser Snow Goose 50(e) Avian cholera SCW
VA Max Meadows 02/15/08-02/25/08 Mallard, Canada Goose, Red-winged Blackbird 39 Toxicosis: carbamate compound SCW
WA Potholes Reservoir 03/22/08-03/30/08 California Gull, Ring-billed Gull 140 Renal failure NW
WA Little Pend Oreille NWR 05/07/08-05/15/08 Painted Turtle 27 Undetermined NW
WI Manitowoc 06/10/08-06/27/08 Muscovy Duck 28 Duck plague WVL
WI Upper Mississippi River NWR 04/02/08-05/02/08 American Coot, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead 2,580(e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis, Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globulus, Lead Poisoning NW
WY Casper 06/10/08-06/20/08 Pine Siskin 11 Salmonellosis NW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Prince William Sound 03/15/08-04/01/2008 Bald Eagle 6 Toxicosis: pentobarbital NW
CA Shasta 02/12/08-05/20/2008 Skunk, NOS Fox, Gray Fox, Raccoon 108 Canine distemper UCD
DE Sussex 01/14/08-01/28/08 Common Grackle 200(e) Undetermined NW
MN Sturgeon Lake 02/27/08-04/01/08 Rock Dove 40(e) Nephrosis Emaciation NW
WA Moses Lake 03/20/08-03/24/08 Ring-billed Gull 50(e) Open NW

(e) = estimate; “suspect” = Diagnosis not finalized, but field signs and historic patterns indicate the disease.

CAHFS-Fresno (CHF), Florida Fish & Game (FL), Los Angeles Veterinary Public Health (LAV), Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Diagnostic Lab (MT), No diagnostics pursued (NON), National Veterinary Services Laboratory, Ames IA (NVL), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), New York State, DEC, Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Sources (NY), Other (OT), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), University of California-Davis (UCD), Unkown (UNK), Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVL).

Written and compiled by: Nathan Ramsay, Anne Ballmann - 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

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

Birds with excessive salt encrusted on their feathers were discovered by USFWS personnel at White Lake in Mountrail County, North Dakota in late June. Affected birds were alert and moving their wings, but were unable to fly. Mortality was estimated at 110 birds with Mallards, Gadwall, Eared Grebes, Ruddy Ducks, Franklin’s Gulls, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, American Wigeons, and American Coots affected. Shorebirds in the area did not appear to be impacted. White Lake is a large, alkaline lake with a former salt mine nearby. Euthanized and freshly dead birds had brain sodium levels between 1370-1700 ppm, wet weight. Salt acts as a preservative against carcass decomposition so older mortalities (possibly >1-year-old) have been observated at this lake. In 1985, a die-off occurred at this same location after cold temperatures made fresh water from other lakes unavailable (Windingstad et al. 1987). Salt toxicosis also has occurred during summer months in hypersaline lakes where birds were affected in less than 5 hours of entering the water (Stolley and Meteyer 2004).

Stolley, D.S. and C.U. Meteyer. 2004. Peracute sodium toxicity in free-ranging Black-bellied whistling ducks. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 40:571-574. Windingstad, R.M., F. X. Kartch, R.K. Stroud, and M. R. Smith. 1987. Salt toxicosis in waterfowl in North Dakota. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 23:443-446.

Ranavirus returns to Washington County (RI)
Between mid May and mid June, Wood Frog tadpoles, Marbled Salamander larvae and Spotted Salamander larvae were found sick and dead in some Washington County ponds monitored by the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Natural Resource Science. It is estimated that 80,000 amphibians have died, including nearly all of this year’s cohort. Sick animals were lethargic and had hemorrhagic lesions in the ventral skin. Subsequent virus isolation of the skin, liver and kidney determined that these amphibians died from a Ranavirus sp. This virus has been the primary cause of several amphibian mortality events in various ponds through out the County since 2001.

Avian Cholera outbreak at Rush Lake WMA (IA)
During the first week of April, Iowa DNR personnel found dead and sick waterfowl of various species at a Palo Alto County Wildlife Management Area. The sick birds had weak necks; thick, mucoid discharge matted around their eyes; and mucus draining from their nares. Over the following six weeks, the IA DNR collected over 200 ducks and geese of 17 different species, including Greater White-fronted Geese, Northern Pintail, Mallards and Snow Geese. Pasteurella multocida was cultured from specimens submitted to NWHC indicating that avian cholera was the cause of this mortality event.

Mortality events in waterfowl attributed to avian cholera are more commonly reported in the winter months when flocks are stressed from seasonal migration and reduced food resources.

Trematodiasis at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge (WI & MN)
Migrating waterfowl have been found sick and dead on the Mississippi River’s Pools 7 and 8 again this spring. US Fish & Wildlife personnel collected 1312 birds and estimated there were 2210 – 2580 dead with American Coots and Lesser Scaup comprising 99% of the mortalities. Infections by the trematodes Cyathocotyle bushiensis and Sphaeridiotrema globulus were identified in chilled carcasses submitted to NWHC. These parasites are found in the lower intestines of infected birds and cause severe blood loss, electrolyte imbalance, and penetrating damage to the intestinal wall leading to death. An estimated 32,000 migrating waterfowl at the refuge have died as a result of trematodiasis since 2002.

Unusual behaviors reported in summering bats from the northeastern US (NY, VT, NH, CT, MA)
Increased numbers of calls to public health departments from citizens are being reported this summer in the northeastern US. Bats are being observed persisting in the open during daylight hours, increased numbers of live pups are falling to the ground at maternity roosts, and there have been 2 reports of pup abandonment. Anecdotal reports from several areas indicate a reduction in colony size compared to previous summers. State Rabies Labs of NY and CT report decreased numbers of Myotis lucifugus submissions, the species with the highest winter mortality estimates during the peak of White Nose Syndrome (WNS), compared to previous summers. Summer bat surveys are assessing individuals for wing lesions thought to be a sequela of bat white-nose syndrome. The NWHC is requesting fresh, intact bats found dead on the landscape from any state where mortality rates within a well-defined area and time period exceed the expected background mortality. In addition, individual bats with wing membrane lesions are being sought for examination. Contact your local state wildlife agency to report unusual mortality events and to arrange submission.

Cormorant mortality detected in multiple counties throughout MN
Several die-offs involving young Double-crested Cormorants are being investigated in 4 Minnesota counties that are estimated to have started the first week of July 2008. MN DNR biologists reported initial losses of 200 and 300 birds at rookeries in 2 lakes in southern MN (Meeker and Faribault counties). Another estimated 200 birds were displaying clinical signs of neck weakness, incoordination, inability to right self, partial limb paralysis, and tremors. Approximately 90 % of the hatch year cohort appears affected. Other bird species displaying signs of illness at a much lower numbers include American White Pelicans and several gull species. Additional reports from northern MN (St. Louis and Lake of the Woods counties) have found only dead birds at a lower proportion than that observed at the southern locations. Preliminary diagnostics thus far suggest avian paramyxovirus-1 in the Meeker and St. Louis locations. Additional tests are pending to rule out other disease agents such as botulinum toxin and West Nile virus. Increased cormorant mortality on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes region of Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario has been reported by Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center (www.ccwhc.ca).

Request for Wildlife Mortality and Morbidity Event Reporting (All States)
The Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report, published in the Wildlife Disease Association’s newsletter, is intended to inform wildlife professionals of wildlife events of interest to them. The authors kindly request that investigation reports of recent die-offs of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles be submitted for inclusion in the publication and on the related webpage. Credit will be given to appropriate diagnostic laboratories.

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