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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
July 2010 to September 2010

Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
AZ Mesa 06/01/10-ongoing Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, White-winged Dove 8 Viral Infection: Avian, Paramyxovirus 1 (Pigeon Paramyxovirus) NW
CA Catalina Island 07/07/10-ongoing Bald Eagle 4 Undetermined, decomposed, Emaciation NW
CA Ellis Lake, Marysville 06/22/10-08/01/10 Hybrid Duck 150(e) Botulism suspect NON
CA Joshua Tree National Park 08/24/10-08/25/10 American White Pelican 5 Steatitis NW
CA Sweetwater Reservoir 07/01/10-08/15/10 Western Grebe, Clark's Grebe 600(e) Emaciation CFG, NW, OT
FL Blackburn Bay 07/08/10-07/30/10 Wood Stork 16 Trauma, Toxicosis: Pentobarbital, Toxicosis: Methanmidiphos NW, UFL
FL Ft. Meyers/Cape Coral 08/01/10-08/15/10 Muscovy Duck, Snowy Egret 15(e) Botulism type C NW
FL Longboat Key, 08/17/10-09/15/10 Laughing Gull, Lido Key, Royal Tern, Salmonellosis, Common Tern 65(e) Aspergillosis, NW
FL St Johns River 05/20/10-07/01/10 Bald Eagle, Osprey 5(e) Blue-green algae toxicosis suspect FL, NW
GA Holly Creek, Murray County 09/04/10-09/14/10 Bullfrog 35 (e) Viral Infection: Ranavirus, Parasitism: Lernaea sp.,Fungal infection: Saprolegnia sp. NW
ID Jefferson County 06/29/10-07/02/10 Little Brown Bat 30(e) Predation NW
ID Power County 07/23/10-08/09/10 Mallard 100 (e) Botulism type C NW
IL Upper Mississippi River, NWR 09/01/10-09/13/10 American White Pelican 14 (e) Undetermined NW
MA Buttonwood Park Zoo 07/14/10-07/19/10 Mallard 15 Botulism type C NW
MD Poplar Island 07/19/10-08/30/10 Mallard, Osprey 70 Emaciation, Predation, Renal failure NW
MD Poplar Island 07/19/10-09/20/10 Herring Gull, Unidentified Gull 16 Aspergillosis NW
MD Poplar Island 07/19/10-09/24/10 Double-crested Cormorant 84 (e) Viral Infection: virulent, Newcastle Disease, Salmonellosis NW
ME York County,Cumberland County 08/01/10-10/28/10 Double-crested Cormorant 8 (e) Emaciation, Salmonellosis, Viral Infection: Avian Paramyxovirus 1 suspect, Trauma suspect NW, NH
MI Gulliver Creek, Inland Harbor, and Birch Point 08/25/10-11/29/10 Long-Tailed Duck, White-winged Scoter, Common Loon,Red-necked Grebe, Herring Gull 573 Botulism type E MI, NW
MI Mackinac County 08/01/10-09/30/10 Unidentified Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Unidentified Gull, Common Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe 300 (e) Botulism type E MI, NW
MN Lake Alice 07/28/10-08/12/10 Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, Wood Duck, Canada Goose, Great Egret 15 (e) Open NW
MN Lake Johanna 07/27/10-ongoing Ring-billed Gull, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant 100 (e) Aspergillosis NW
MN Lake Vermillion 07/27/10-ongoing Double-crested Cormorant 125 (e) Viral Infection: Avian, Paramyxovirus 1 suspect NW
MN Upper Mississippi River, NWFR 09/06/10-11/26/10 American Coot, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Mallard 4,290 (e) Parasitism suspect NW
MN Marsh Lake 07/05/10-09/28/10 Double-crested Cormorant, Ring-billed Gull, American White Pelican, Unidentified Egret, Canada Goose 1,417** Viral Infection: virulent, Newcastle Disease, (NDV ONLY FOUND IN CORMORANTS), Salmonellosis, Aspergillosis, Aspergillosis, Parasitism: Contracaecum sp., Viral infection: West Nile virus NW
MN New Ulm Municipal Airport 07/17/10-07/17/10 Tree Swallow 70 (e) Toxicosis suspect NW
MN Red Lake Rock and Crowduck Island 07/29/10-08/06/10 American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Ring-billed Gull 800 (e) Open NW
MN Well's Lake 07/27/10-10/01/10 Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Mallard 357** Viral Infection: virulent, Newcastle Disease, (NDV ONLY FOUND IN CORMORANTS), Aspergillosis, Salmonellosis NW
MT Musselshell County 07/25/10-07/26/10 Western Small-footed Bat, Little Brown Bat 7 Trauma suspect NW
MT Big Hole River 08/19/10-08/20/10 Common Raven 5 (e) Undetermined NW
MT Eyraud Lakes 07/09/10-07/19/10 California Gull 30 (e) Airsacculitis NW
MT Lost Creek 08/17/10-ongoing Bighorn Sheep   Pneumonia MT
MT Miles City 07/19/10-07/27/10 Wood Duck 10 Aspergillosis NW
ND Williams County 07/08/10-ongoing American White Pelican, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, California Gull 5 (e) Emaciation NW
ND Chase Lake NWR 07/21/10-07/31/10 Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Ring-billed Gull 375** Viral Infection: virulent, Newcastle Disease, (NDV ONLY FOUND IN CORMORANTS), Salmonellosis NW
ND Chase Lake NWR 09/10/10-10/18/10 Unidentified Egret, American White Pelican 525 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile Virus suspect NW
ND Christenson Lake WPA 07/01/10-08/31/10 Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Canada Goose 73 Botulism type C NW
ND Garrison Dam 07/19/10-07/19/10 Little Brown Bat 20 (e) Undetermined NW
NE Summer Haven Lake 07/24/10-07/24/10 Purple Martin 12 (e) Trauma NW
NV Esmeralda County 05/01/10-ongoing Pied-billed Grebe, Eared Grebe 22 Toxicosis: salt NW
NV Sheldon NWR 08/12/10-08/17/10 Bullfrog 100 (e) Predation NW
OH Proctorville 07/22/10-07/22/10 Mallard 30 Toxicosis: Carbofuran NW
OH Cuyahoga County 06/28/10-07/21/10 Mallard, Canada Goose 30 (e) Botulism type C NW
OR Coos Bay 09/23/10-09/26/10 Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler 500 (e) Drowning suspect NW
OR Corvallis Area, Multiple Counties 07/01/10-09/01/10 Black-tailed Deer 75 (e) Viral Infection: Adenovirus, hemorrhagic disease OR
SD Sand Lake, Mud Lake, Zabrasha GPA 07/19/10-09/10/10 Franklin's Gull, Mallard, Northern Pintail, American Coot, Northern Shoveler 692 Botulism type C NW
SD Swan Lake 07/21/10-09/20/10 American Coot, Northern Pintail, Western Grebe, Mallard, Wood Duck 134 Botulism type C NW
TX McNeil Bridge, Williamson County 08/01/10-08/31/10 Brazilian Free-tailed Bat 2,000 (e) Rabies NW
WA Walla Walla County 07/29/10-07/30/10 Little Brown Bat 80 (e) Undetermined NW
WA Potholes Lake 07/15/10-08/24/10 American White Pelican, Mallard 28 (e) Botulism type C, Viral Infection: West Nile virus NW
WI Cambers Island 09/01/10-09/15/10 Unidentified Gull 12 Botulism suspect NON
WI Door County 07/06/10-11/17/10 Unidentified Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Ring-billed, Unidentified Tern Gull, Herring Gull 46 Botulism type E NW
WI Holcombe 06/15/10-07/01/10 Big Brown Bat 12 (e) Predation NW
WI Horicon NWR 06/30/10-10/22/10 American White Pelican, Canada Goose, Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant 50 (e) Botulism type C, Viral Infection: Avian, Paramyxovirus 1 suspect NW
WI Lake Onalaska 09/06/10-11/26/10 American Coot, Mallard, Lesser Scaup, Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck 355 (e) Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globulus, Cyathocotyle bushiensis NW
WI Spider and Pilot Islands 07/27/10-09/15/10 Double-crested Cormorant 450 (e) Viral Infection: virulent, Newcastle Disease, Botulism type E, Emaciation NW
WY Yellowstone National Park 08/04/10-ongoing Tiger Salamander 20(e) Open NW
Updates and Corrections:
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
CT North Brandford 05/31/10-06/15/10 Wood Frog 2000(e) Viral Infection: Ranavirus suspect NON
HI Hawaiian Islands 03/01/10-ongoing Stripebelly Puffer, Guineafowl Puffer, Porcupine Puffer 200 (e) Open NW, OT
ID Ada County 06/02/10-06/15/10 California Gull 300 (e) Botulism type E NW
TX Uvalde and Kinney Counties 06/20/10-06/30/10 White-tailed Deer 11 (e) Bacterial Infection: anthrax A&M
TX Houston 03/26/10-04/02/10 Cedar Waxwing 50 (e) Toxicosis: ethanol NW
VA Montgomery County 06/13/10-06/13/10 Unidentified Bat 10 Undetermined NW

a (e) = estimate

b Suspect diagnosis = diagnosis is not finalized, but field signs and historic patterns indicate the disease.

c Texas A & M (A&M), Disease Laboratory of the California Department of Fish & Game (CFG), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FL), Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MI), Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Diagnostic Laboratory (MT), New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NH), No diagnostics pursued (NON), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Oregon State Diagnostic Laboratory (OR), Other (OT), University of Florida (UFL).

Written and compiled by: Anne Ballmann, LeAnn White, Krysten Schuler, Jennifer Buckner, and Jennifer Chipault.

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

**Virulent Newcastle Disease Virus in Double-Crested Cormorants (Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin)
Beginning in July 2010, double-crested cormorants displaying neurological signs including lethargy, paralysis of the wings and legs, twisting of the neck, and/or erratic swimming were observed at nesting colonies located in Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Double-crested cormorants submitted to the USGS-National Wildlife Health Center from these sites tested positive for virulent Newcastle Disease virus (NDV). Newcastle Disease virus belongs to the group of viruses known as avian paramyxovirus-1 (APMV-1). This APMV-1 virus is often lethal to double-crested cormorants; it’s designation as virulent NDV indicates potential virulence to poultry. Additional mortalities at these sites included American white pelicans, ring-billed gulls, California gulls, and mallards; however, the cause of death in these species was attributed to other diseases including West Nile virus, salmonellosis, and aspergillosis. For a summary of recent NDV mortality events involving wild birds and the geographic expansion in the eastern US, see the Wildlife Health Bulletins (Sep 2010, Dec 2010) at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/wildlife_health_bulletins/.

Rabies in Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats (Texas)
In August 2010, several thousand dead and sick Brazilian free-tailed bats were found in the vicinity of a roost-site in Williamson County, Texas. Bats were reportedly seen flying during the day and landing on the ground too weak to fly. The cause of death in these bats was determined to be rabies virus, a member of the lyssavirus group. A large-scale rabies-associated mortality event, such as the one observed at this site, generally decreases the frequency of contact among bats in the population, resulting in decreased transmission of the virus and subsequent recovery of the bat population as long as environmental conditions (e.g., food supply) remain favorable. Due to the large population size at this roost (estimated to be over one million bats), officials with the Texas Department of Transportation confirmed that signs were already in place at the site to remind the public never to handle bats.

Grebe Mortality at San Diego Reservoir (California)
Multiple agencies responded to a mortality event of Western and Clark’s grebes at Sweetwater Reservoir in San Diego County, California. Initial reports indicated more than 250 grebes were known dead with few other species affected. Carcasses were in various states of decomposition; mortality was estimated to have begun around July 1, 2010. Examination of grebe carcasses by the USGS-National Wildlife Health Center, the San Diego County Veterinarian, and the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory all revealed severe emaciation on gross examination of affected birds. Laboratory testing did not identify any bacterial or viral pathogens, parasites, or toxins in tissues or water samples. Mortalities continued throughout July and totaled 600 birds, which comprised about 90% of the resident grebe population. No abnormal environmental conditions were noted during field investigations, and no other nearby areas were affected. Fish surveys conducted by California Department of Fish and Game identified schools of shad throughout the lake, and populations were consistent with other similar lakes in southern California. The cause of this mortality event is still undetermined. A substantially larger mortality event involving an estimated 150,000 eared grebes occurred at the Salton Sea in 1991-1992. The cause of this mortality event remains undetermined as well, although field signs and carcass conditions (e.g., gulping fresh water, excessive preening, and allowing close approach) were dissimilar (Meteyer et al. 2004).

Meteyer, C. U., Audet, D. J., Rocke, T. E., Radke, W., Creekmore, L. H. and Duncan, R. (2004) Investigation of a large-scale Eared Grebes (Podiceps nigricollis) die-off at the Salton Sea, California, in 1992. Stud. Avian Biol. 27: 141-151.

Wood Stork Mortality at Blackburn Bay (Florida)
In July 2010, a small group of wood storks (mostly juveniles) in Sarasota County were involved in an unusual mortality event. Clinical signs observed in affected birds included disorientation, incoordination, and “drunken”-type behaviors. Many had evidence of trauma presumably from wandering into traffic and died shortly after arriving at a rehabilitation facility. Mortalities totaled 16 birds although a rookery population of approximately 40 storks was considered at risk in the area. Water samples collected during this event did not identify any harmful algal blooms in the area. Toxicology results from one of two birds that died from traumatic injuries identified several compounds including common euthanasia drugs pentobarbital (and its metabolite metabarbital) and phenytoin, benzenemethanol (a local anesthetic), methamidophos (an organophosphate), and D-limolene (a citrus oil-based pesticide). In addition, this bird also tested positive for botulism type C although it is possible that these results were confounded by the other toxins present. Three affected storks did survive this event with supportive care.

Wood storks are listed as endangered by the US Fish & Wildlife Service although reclassification of the southeastern US breeding population to threatened status is currently under review. They are the only stork species regularly found in the US. Their diet consists mainly of fish although they occasionally consume crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds and arthropods. There are anecdotal reports of wood storks feeding on landfills or their run-off water which may explain the source of exposure to the various compounds identified in this case, although this could not be confirmed.

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