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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
July 2008 to September 2008

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AK Shoup Bay 07/25/08-08/01/08 Black-legged Kittiwake 40 (e) Trauma, Emaciation NW
AL Decatur 07/27/08-07/29/08 Canada Goose 41 Open: emaciation NW
CA Stanislaus 05/28/08-06/23/08 Mallard 65 (e) Botulism type C, Airsacculitis, Viral infection suspect CSS
CA Dublin 07/14/08-07/21/08 Mallard, Canada Goose 15 (e) Undetermined UCD
CA Newark 09/04/08-09/06/08 Mallard 15 (e) Botulism suspect NON
CA Rancho Cordova 09/08/08-09/12/08 Mallard 15 (e) Botulism type C UCD
CA Salton Sea 08/11/08-10/24/08 American White Pelican, Unidentified Gull, California Brown Pelican, Unidentified Teal, Northern Shoveler 358 (e) Botulism type C NW
DC US Capitol Reflecting Pool 07/11/08-07/27/08 Mallard 45 Botulism type C MD, NW
FL Davie 09/15/08-ongoing Muscovy Duck, Mallard 13 Open: botulism suspect UNK
FL Indian Town 09/20/08-09/21/08 Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Domestic Mallard 20 (e) Undetermined NON
FL St. George Island 07/15/08-7/16/08 Unidentified Gull 25 Undetermined NON
GA Floyd County 07/01/08-07/05/08 House Finch 14 (e) Undetermined SCW
GA Houston County 08/07/08-09/22/08 Purple Martin 8 Aspergillosis SCW
LA Bossier County 05/01/08-08/13/08 Mourning Dove 6 Trichomoniasis SCW
MA Lowell 07/01/08-07/15/08 Mallard 24 (e) Botulism suspect NON
MD Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary 07/31/08-08/20/08 Eastern Box Turtle 6 Viral Infection: Ranavirus NW
MD Elkton 07/16/08-07/30/08 Red Bat 10 Trauma NW
MI Bloomer Park, Rochester 08/08/08-08/25/08 White-tailed Deer 20 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic disease MI, MSU
MI Ludington State Park, Mason, Emmett Co., Mears State Park, Oceana Co., Herring Gull 06/27/08-ongoing Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Unidentified Tern 52 Botulism type E MI
MI Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore 06/30/08-ongoing Caspian Tern, Ring-billed Gull, Least Sandpiper, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Merganser 20 (e) Botulism type E NW, OT
MN Voyageurs National Park, Angle Island WMA, Agassiz NWR 07/14/08-09/30/08 Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Ring-billed Gull 1,250 (e) Newcastle Disease Virus, Emaciation, Trauma NVL, NW
MN Marsh Lake, Lac qui Parle, WMA 07/10/08-09/30/08 American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Unidentified Gull, Great Egret, Canada Goose 2,800 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile, Newcastle Disease Virus, Salmonellosis, Parasitism: Coccidosis (Eimeria sp.), Parasitism: Contraceacum, Undetermined NVL, NW
MN Minnesota Lake, Faribault Co., Pigeon Lake, Meeker Co., Lake Superior, Cook Co., Mille Lacs, Mille Lacs Co. 06/30/08-09/30/08 Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Ring-billed Gull, Common Loon, Great Blue Heron 1,000 (e) Newcastle Disease Virus, Viral Infection: Avian, Paramyxovirus 1, Emaciation, Botulism type C NVL, NW
MO Round Spring Cave 08/24/08-08/24/08 Eastern Pipistrelle 24 (e) Trauma NW
MT Eyraud Lakes 08/25/08-09/01/08 American White Pelican 5 Emaciation: starvation NW
MT Lake Bowdoin, Malta 07/20/08-09/30/08 Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall 2,000 Botulism type C NW
MT Lewis and Clark County 08/27/08-09/01/08 Long-legged Bat 50 (e) Emaciation NW
MT Florence 06/26/08-07/01/08 Red Crossbill, House Finch, Pine Siskin 50 (e) Salmonellosis NW
MT Spanish, Elk, and Cherry Creeks 07/01/08-09/01/08 Elk, Deer 16 Bacterial Infection: anthrax MT
ND Chase Lake NWR 07/03/08-08/20/08 Black-crowned Night-Heron, Unidentified Gull, American White Pelican 16 Emaciation, Salmonellosis, Viral infection: West Nile NW
ND Kellys Slough NWR 08/21/08-08/27/08 Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Franklin's Gull 13 (e) Botulism type C, Aspergillosis NW
ND Oahe Reservoir, Missouri River 08/29/08-10/01/08 Mallard, Gadwall 57 (e) Botulism type C NW
ND Turtle Lake 2, Wildlife Development Area 08/04/08-09/02/08 Mallard, American Coot, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall 719 Botulism type C NW
NC Beaufort County 08/23/08-09/30/08 Mallard 1,300 (e) Botulism SCW
NE Massie and Wilkins Waterfowl Production Area 07/14/08-08/06/08 Plains Leopard Frog 200 (e) Viral Infection: Ranavirus, Parasitism suspect NW
NV Reno-Sparks Area 07/14/08-09/01/08 Rock Dove, Mourning Dove 300 (e) Parasitism: Trichomoniasis NVA
NV South Reno 07/01/08-07/18/08 Canada Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, American Coot, Rock Dove 22 Botulism type C NW
OH Dublin 06/29/08-07/03/08 Mallard, Hybrid Mallard 22 Botulism type C NW
OM Midway Atoll, Papahanaumokuakea Marine, National Monument 08/10/08-08/21/08 Laysan Duck 140 (e) Botulism type C NW
PA Presque Isle State Park 05/26/08-ongoing Ring-billed Gull, American Crow, Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, Unidentified Waterfowl 113 (e) Botulism type C, Botulism type E, Trauma NW
SD Black Hills Area 09/22/08-10/15/08 Deer 25 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic disease SD
SD Conata Basin, Buffalo Gap National Grasslands 05/15/08-08/15/08 Black-footed Ferret, Black-tailed Prairie Dog 100 (e) Sylvatic plague CDC
SD Waubay NWR, Bitter Lake 07/25/08-09/01/08 American White Pelican 34 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile NW
SD Zabrasha Game Production Area 08/01/08-08/25/08 Redhead Duck, Unidentified Gull, Unidentified Grebe, Unidentified Duck 77 Botulism type C NW
TX Study Butte 07/01/08-8/1/08 Mourning Dove 10 (e) Parasitism: Trichomoniasis NW
UT Bear River Marshes 07/03/08-07/31/08 California Gull 12 (e) Undetermined NW
UT Logan 09/04/08-09/05/08 Mallard 5 (e) Botulism type C NW
VT Windsor, Fairlee, East, Poultney, Rupert 04/01/08-7/7/08 Little Brown Bat, Indiana Bat 15 (e) Trauma suspect, Open: emaciation NW
WA Snake River drainage 08/29/08-09/12/08 White-tailed Deer 500 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic disease WA
WI Alma 06/30/08-07/15/08 Little Brown Bat 7 Undetermined NW
WI Blue River 06/01/08-07/15/08 Little Brown Bat 40 (e) Emaciation: starvation suspect NW
WI Deerwood Park, Holmen 07/01/08-07/27/08 Eastern Bluebird 100 Emaciation NW
WI Fort McCoy 06/01/08-07/31/08 Eastern Bluebird 80 (e) Parasitism: Simulidae NW
WI Horicon NWR 08/10/08-09/22/08 Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Great Blue Heron, Ring-billed Gull, Unidentified Shorebird 1,000 (e) Botulism type C NW
WI Lake Onalaska, Upper, Mississippi River NWR 09/15/08-ongoing American Coot, Lesser Scaup, Blue-winged Teal, Double-crested Cormorant, Ruddy Duck 430 (e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis,Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globulus NW
WI Milwaukee Harbor 09/10/08-ongoing Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Double-crested Cormorant 50 (e) Botulism type E NW, WI, WVL
WI Neenah 06/16/08-07/21/08 Little Brown Bat, Big Brown Bat 50 (e) Pasteurellosis NW
WI Wisconsin Rapids 06/25/08-07/22/08 Little Brown Bat 10 Emaciation NW
WV Tucker County High School, Hambleton 09/29/08-09/29/08 Blackpoll Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler, Ovenbird 501 Trauma SCW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AZ Biltmore Lake 06/01/08-07/01/08 Mallard, Unidentified Goose, NOS Passerine, Canada Goose 70 (e) Botulism type C NW
AZ Maricopa 05/01/08-07/01/08 Muscovy Duck, Mallard 30 (e) Botulism suspect NW
CA Redding 02/12/08-05/20/08 Skunk, Unidentified Fox, Raccoon, Gray Fox 60 (e) Canine distemper UCD
CA Southern California 01/01/08-04/01/08 Red-tailed Hawk 18 (e) Chlamydiosis SDC, UCD
FL Hillsborough 05/01/08-05/13/08 Muscovy Duck 11 Duck plague SCW
GA Houston 01/20/08-01/21/08 Red-winged Blackbird, Passerine, NOS 25 (e) Salmonellosis SCW
KS Lake McKinney 03/14/08-04/30/08 Lesser Snow Goose, Mallard, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal 550 (e) Avian cholera NW
KY Coal Run Village, Frankfort 03/25/08-03/26/08 American Crow 50 (e) Undetermined, Clostridium perfringens suspect SCW
ND White Lake 06/20/08-07/14/08 Mallard, Gadwall, Eared Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Franklin's Gull, Unidentified Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, American Coot 110 (e) Salt toxicosis NW
NE Keith 05/26/08-08/30/08 House Sparrow 100 (e) Viral Infection suspect NW
NH Sargents Purchase 05/04/08-05/29/08 Little Brown Bat 10 (e) Predation, Emaciation NW

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

Center for Disease Control (CDC), California State University at Stanislaus (CSS), Maryland Diagnostic Laboratory (MD), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MI), Michigan State University (MSU), Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Diagnostic Lab (MT), No diagnostics pursued (NON), Nevada Dept of Agriculture - Animal Disease & Food Safety Lab (NVA), National Veterinary Services Laboratory, Ames IA (NVL), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Other (OT), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), South Dakota University Diagnostic Laboratory (SD), University of California-Davis (UCD), Unknown (UNK), Washington State Disease Laboratory (WA), Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVL).

Written and compiled by: Anne Ballmann - Eastern US, Krysten Schuler - Western US, and Julia Hoeh – 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

Virulent Newcastle Disease responsible for cormorant mortalities in multiple Minnesota counties (MN)
Summer mortality events beginning in July 2008 involving double-crested cormorants were determined to be the result of virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) in 8 MN counties. In addition, individual cases of Newcastle Disease in cormorants were reported to NWHC from WI, MI, CT and MO. Mortality counts ranged from less than 10 birds up to 1200 birds at the various sites and often included other species such as ring-billed gulls and American white pelicans. While the virus was isolated from several pelicans and a common loon in this epizootic, characteristic brain lesions were not observed. At one MN site, infections of West Nile virus, salmonellosis, and intestinal parasitism contributed to the large number of pelican mortalities (1900 estimated) where the overall avian mortality was estimated to be 2500 birds. This was the second consecutive year that vND occurred at two of the MN sites. On-site incineration of carcasses and restricted access to affected areas were instituted to reduce spread of the virus. Canada also experienced increased cormorant mortality associated with avian paramyxovirus-1, the agent of Newcastle Disease, this summer around Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron. Virulent Newcastle Disease outbreaks in cormorants have occurred intermittently throughout the United States since 1992. No known domestic poultry was involved with this summer’s outbreak.

Botulism type C outbreaks at the Capital Reflecting Pool (Washington, DC)
On July 11, 2008, Capital Police observed multiple mallard ducks displaying neurologic signs and dying upon entering the Capital Reflecting Pool. Earlier reports in the vicinity that day indicated possible human illnesses which were later found to be unrelated. Onsite testing conducted by the FBI was negative for particular agents of concern and the US National Park Service Crew Supervisor confirmed no pesticide application had occurred recently in the immediate area. A total of 17 mallards were collected from the pool and necropsied at the MD Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. Tissues from those necropsied and an additional dead mallard collected from a nearby park were flown to NWHC for further evaluation. Botulism type C toxin was detected in samples from both locations. A second mortality event at the Reflecting Pool, involving 26 mallards, occurred on July 26-27. Samples submitted to NWHC were again confirmed to be botulism type C. Since draining and cleaning of the Pool as the potential source of the toxin, no additional mortalities have been reported.

Botulism type E mortalities recurring in the Great Lakes region (Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario)
Beach monitoring along the shores of the Great Lakes this summer has again detected a variety of birds dying from botulism type E intoxication. The first mortality reports attributed to the toxin began in late June from the western shores of Lake Michigan (Mason Co., MI) and northern shores of Lake Ontario (Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre reporting). Species affected have been mostly common loons, double-crested cormorants, several gull species, and various shorebirds, including Caspian terns and sandpipers. Botulism Type E was also suspected in the death of an endangered piping plover juvenile at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Four affected Michigan counties (Oceana, Mason, Benzie, and Emmet) represent the furthest southern extent reported along the western Lake Michigan shoreline. Along the eastern shore, September mortalities were detected in Door (bayside) and Milwaukee counties in Wisconsin. Total numbers of birds affected thus far are estimated at 200 for Lake Michigan, 113 for Lake Erie, and 12 for Lake Ontario. Last year, the total mortality from the four lakes was estimated at 17,125 with the majority of the mortalities detected between Oct-Nov. Botulism type C toxin has been detected at some locations including the Kingston, Ontario area and Presque Isle State Park (Erie, PA).

Seasonal summer avian botulism outbreaks across the states (HI, CA, NV, UT, MT, ND, SD, WI, FL, OH, PA, MA)
Botulism type C mortality events were observed in waterfowl across several states during the summer months. Botulism mortality occurs when birds ingest toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The Midway Atoll experienced a significant die-off of endangered Laysan ducks. An estimated 140 ducks died in a population of approximately 200-400 individuals. US Fish and Wildlife Service management actions were to drain and remove sediments from a catchment pond that was the primary site of the event. The largest avian botulism event was at Lake Bowdoin, Montana, where 2000 ducks and coots died in two locations on the lake. Turtle Lake Wildlife Development Area, North Dakota, experienced a month-long botulism event that killed more than 700 ducks and coots. Another large event occurred at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin, where approximately 1000 birds, primarily mallards and green-winged teal, died over a 6 week period. The Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, California, lost 200 birds, mostly American white pelicans and some endangered brown pelicans, black-legged stilts, and gulls. Many affected areas experience annual mortality from botulism. Dry conditions, hot temperatures, and low oxygen levels in wetlands during late summer contribute to botulism outbreaks. Prompt carcass removal of impacted areas can reduce additional mortality from birds eating toxin-contaminated maggots on decomposing carcasses.

Expansion of plague-affected area into black-footed ferret area in Conata Basin (SD)
Sylvatic plague reached the Conata Basin area of South Dakota earlier this July. The Conata Basin is a portion of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, south of Badlands National Park, where the last remaining plague-free area existed for black-footed ferret reintroduction. Prior estimates indicated the plague had spread to about 10,000 of the 25,000 acres of black-tailed prairie dog habitat. Prairie dogs carry fleas infected with Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague. Black-footed ferrets primarily feed on prairie dogs. Ferret populations in Conata Basin were estimated around 300 animals (roughly half of the free-ranging black-footed ferret population), but the plague outbreak may have killed as many as 100. Fall spotlight surveys are underway to obtain more accurate estimates. US Fish and Wildlife Service and partners plan to dust 11,000 acres with insecticide and continue to vaccinate ferrets against plague. As a new management option, USGS – National Wildlife Health Center and other partners are working to develop a plague vaccine that can be delivered via oral bait for prairie dogs and ferrets to protect against plague-associated mortalities.

Documented anthrax mortality in wildlife (MT)
Two deer, 14 elk, and a black bear are suspected to have died from naturally occurring anthrax in several creek drainages near a ranch that was experiencing anthrax mortality in bison. An estimated 250 bison died. Wildlife mortalities were spotted during aerial surveys around the ranch by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores can remain dormant in soil for long periods of time and mortalities tend to recur at contaminated sites although this was the first documentation of anthrax in Gallatin County, Montana. Appropriate weather conditions during summer promote germination of the spores that animals then ingest during feeding. Since anthrax is a zoonotic disease Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks provided information on proper field dressing of harvested animals to hunters.

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease detected in northern US (WA, SD, MI)
Reports of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in white-tailed deer occurred in 3 new northern states during August and September 2008. Die-offs involving 20-500 animals were detected in the Snake River Drainage area (Walla Walla, WA), Butte and Lawrence counties (SD) and Oakland County, MI. EHD is cause by a virus, closely related to bluetongue viruses, and is transmitted by the Culicoides sp. midge. Because of the insect vector, mortalities are more commonly detected in the southeastern US, although it has occurred previously in CO, AZ, and NE. A northward range expansion in the eastern US was noted in 2007 (2007-4 Quarterly Mortality Report).

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