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National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
October 2009 to December 2009

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AR Lafayette County 12/22/09-12/25/09 Ross' Goose, Greater Snow Goose 100 (e) Aflatoxicosis NW
AZ Cochise County 08/28/09-09/02/09 Unidentified Grackle, White-winged Dove 15 (e) Trauma NW
AZ Maricopa County 10/15/09-10/25/09 Eurasian Collared Dove 35 (e) Viral Infection: pigeon paramyxovirus 1 AZ, NW, NVL
FL Boca Raton 09/28/09-10/13/09 Muscovy Duck 90 (e) Botulism type C NW
MD Baltimore 10/02/09-10/02/09 Green Frog, American Toad 102 Fungal Infection: chytrid SDC
MD North Branch Stream Valley Park 04/18/09-09/27/09 Eastern Box Turtle 10 Viral Infection: Ranavirus NW
MD Poplar Island Restoration Site 09/20/09-10/04/09 Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull 4 Aspergillosis NW
MN Lake Winnibigoshish and Bowstring Lake 10/09/09-11/25/09 Lesser Scaup, American Coot 122 (e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis, Sphaeridiotrema globulus, Leyogonimus polyoon NW
MN Menahga 11/09/09-11/15/09 Canada Goose 8 Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globulus NW
MN Upper Mississippi NWR 09/18/09-11/24/09 Lesser Scaup, American Coot, Bufflehead, Blue-winged Teal, Unidentified Duck 1,537 (e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis, Sphaeridiotrema globulus, Leyogonimus polyoon NW
MT Belgrade 12/06/09-01/20/10 Eurasian Collared Dove 21 (e) Viral Infection: pigeon paramyxovirus 1 NW, NVL
MT Ravalli County 11/20/09-ongoing Bighorn Sheep 60 (e) Pneumonia MT
MT Georgetown Lake 10/15/09-11/09/09 American Coot, White-winged Scoter 130 (e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis NW
MT Lake Elmo 10/17/09-10/20/09 Ring-billed Gull, Western Grebe 8 Undetermined NW
NJ Pequest WMA 08/01/09-10/25/09 House Sparrow 30 (e) Salmonellosis NW
NV Las Vegas 10/01/09-12/11/09 Eared Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Mallard, American Coot 12 Trauma NW
TX Hartley and Moore Counties 12/09/09-01/03/09 Wood Duck, Mallard, American Wigeon, Ross' Goose, Lesser Snow Goose 3,000 (e) Avian cholera NW
TX Colorado County 10/14/09-10/22/09 Black-bellied Tree Duck 7 (e) Undetermined NW
UT Syracuse 12/11/09-12/20/09 Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Gadwall 300 (e) Undetermined NW
VA Poquoson 10/15/09-10/20/09 Mallard 8 (e) Toxicosis: diazinon NW
WA Blysma Flats and Wiser Lake 10/18/09-11/24/09 Northern Pintail, Ruddy Duck, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Mallard 310 (e) Aspergillosis NW
WA Washington Coast 10/19/09-10/27/09 Western Grebe, Northern Fulmar, Common Loon, Red-throated Loon, Common Murre *** Loss of Waterproofing: Akashiwo sanguinea NW
WI Outagamie County 10/23/09-12/04/09 Canada Goose, Mallard 156 Impaction: soybean WI
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CA Salton Sea NWR 06/04/09-09/09/09 American White Pelican, California Brown Pelican, Canada Goose, Ring-billed Gull 100 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile NW

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

University of Arizona Diagnostic Laboratory (AZ), Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Diagnostic Lab (MT), National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVL), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), San Diego County Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (SDC), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Health Lab (WI).

Written and compiled by: Anne Ballmann - Eastern US, LeAnn White – Central US, Krysten Schuler - Western US, Jennifer Buckner – Field Investigation Team Case Manager.

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

Dr. Anne Ballmann
Wildlife Disease Specialist
Phone: (608) 270-2445
Fax: (608) 270-2415
Email: aballmann@usgs.gov

Central United States

Dr. LeAnn White
Wildlife Disease Specialist
Phone: (608) 270-2491
Fax: (608) 270-2415
Email: clwhite@usgs.gov

Western United States

Dr. Krysten Schuler
Wildlife Disease Specialist
Phone: (608) 270-2447
Fax: (608) 270-2415
Email: kschuler@usgs.gov

Hawaiian Islands

Dr. 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

Mortality in Eurasian collared doves in western states (Arizona, Montana)
Eurasian collared doves have expanded their range across most of the southern and western U.S. since their introduction into the Caribbean Islands and Florida in the 1970s and 1980s. During 2009, two mortality events involving Eurasian collared doves were reported to USGS-National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC). The first occurred in Arizona in October and the second occurred in Montana in December – both events occurred at backyard feeders. In each event, twenty to thirty doves were found dead over a period of several days. Carcasses were submitted to NWHC for examination. Laboratory testing revealed that the doves were infected with an avian paramyxovirus. Further testing at USDA-National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, identified the virus as pigeon paramyxovirus-1. Although this virus is in the same family of avian paramyxoviruses as Newcastle Disease, it is not considered to be a threat to poultry. Information was not available to determine if other avian species were involved in these disease outbreaks. Pigeon paramyxovirus has been observed previously in dove mortality events in Florida in 2001 and 2006. The 2009 events suggest a marked westward expansion of the disease. Surveillance for mortality events in Arizona and Montana were effective in identifying this new disease in free-ranging birds.

Avian cholera in geese and ducks (Texas)
During December 2009, avian cholera mortalities were documented in Hartley and Moore Counties, Texas. The mortality events occurred at three locations, all within thirty miles of each other. Several duck and geese species were affected: mallards, American wigeons, Canada geese, snow geese, and Ross’ geese. The final combined mortality from these sites was estimated to be close to 3,000 birds. Avian cholera occurred previously in two of these sites in the mid-1990s. Cholera outbreaks can occur at any time of the year, but seasonal patterns can often been seen in areas where the disease has become established. In Texas, the majority of avian cholera outbreaks usually occur in the winter (approximately November through March).

Washington seabird mortality event from algal surfactant (Washington)
A massive algal bloom of Akashiwo sanguinea, a dinoflagellate, off the coast of Washington during September and October of 2009, resulted in multiple seabird mortality events along the state’s coastline. The first indication of affected birds was from Olympic National Park rangers seeing sick and dead surf and white-winged scoters. Carcasses were sent to USGS-National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) and National Park Service for examination. Some birds had a suspect ring of greasy, matted feathers where they were in contact with water, and were emaciated. No pathogens were isolated. Examination of feathers by University of California-Santa Cruz identified a plumage fouling agent produced by the lysing of A. sanguinea cells that inhibits feather waterproofing. A similar stranding event was previously reported in Monterey Bay, California [Jessup et al. 2009. Mass stranding of marine birds caused by a surfactant-producing red tide. PLoS One 4(2)]. Two additional locations at Neah Bay and Long Beach, Wash., had simultaneous outbreaks in seabirds, including common murres, common loons, red-throated loons, northern fulmars, and western grebes. Multiple state and federal agencies, volunteers, university personnel, and rehabilitation facilities collaborated in this response effort. Final mortality estimates are not available at this time, but it is likely over 10,000 birds were affected.

Request for Wildlife Mortality and Morbidity Event Reporting (All States)
The USGS-National Wildlife Health Center Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report, published in the Wildlife Disease Association’s newsletter, is intended to inform wildlife professionals of wildlife events of interest. The authors kindly request that investigation reports of recent die-offs of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles be submitted for inclusion in this report. Credit will be given to appropriate diagnostic laboratories. The report can also be found online at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/mortality_events/ongoing.jsp.

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