National Wildlife Health Center

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USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
January 2000 to March 2000

Reported
State
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
By
AK Anchorage area 11/01/99-ongoing Black-capped Chickadee, Black-billed Magpie, Downy Woodpecker, Steller's Jay, Red-breasted Nuthatch 229* Bill deformities: etiology unknown AK
CA Alameda Co., Hayward Regional Shoreline 12/03/99-01/18/00 Ruddy Duck, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, American Coot, Gadwall 585 Avian cholera CA
CA Klamath Basin NWR Tule Lake NWR 03/02/00-05/01/00 Ross' Goose, Tundra Swan, White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, American Coot 643 Avian cholera Aspergillosis NW
CA Riverside Co., Lake Elsinore 03/06/00-04/30/00 Western Grebe, Clark's Grebe 200 (e) Open NW
CA Sacramento Co.; Twitchell Island 12/31/99-01/05/00 Unidentified Waterfowl, Canada Goose (Aleutian) 109 Avian cholera suspect CA
CA Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR 02/01/00-03/31/00 Double-crested Cormorant 23 Avian cholera NW
FL Citrus Co., Floral City 01/21/00-02/17/00 Northern Cardinal 7 Salmonellosis NW
FL SW FL to Marco 12/01/99-03/05/00 Manatee 5 Red Tide suspect FL
GA Clayton Co., Rex 02/16/00-02/16/00 Common Grackle 29 Toxicosis: diazinon SC
GA Decatur 01/12/00-01/12/00 Brown-headed Cowbird 100(e) Salmonellosis SC
GA Decatur 01/10/00-01/11/00 Red-winged Blackbird 100(e) Open SC
GA Houston Co., Perry 10/14/99-01/14/00 Northern Cardinal 5 Salmonellosis SC
GA Liberty Co., Midway 01/18/00-01/18/00 Boat-tailed Grackle 30(e) Toxicosis: diazinon SC
GA Sardis Park, Gainesville 01/14/00-01/14/00 American Crow 4 Toxicosis: Famphur SC
IL Lee Co., Franklin Grove 02/29/00-03/15/00 American Goldfinch 12 Salmonellosis NW
IL Chicago 01/01/00-03/01/00 Mute Swan 13 Open IL
KS Reno Co., Hutchinson 02/15/00-02/18/00 European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird 300(e) Open NW
MD Blackwater NWR, Cambridge 02/29/00-02/29/00 Canada Goose, Tundra Swan, Snow Goose, American Coot 14 Toxicosis: suspect lead poisoning MF
MD, VA Northern Chesapeake Bay 01/20/00-03/01/00 Ruddy Duck, Canvasback, Unidentified Scaup 300(e) Emaciation, Starvation suspect MD,NW
MD Anne Arundel Co., Route 50 03/30/00-03/30/00 European Starling 250(e) Trauma MD,NW
MS St. Catherine Creek NWR 01/15/00-02/15/00 Mallard, Wood Duck, Killdeer, Great Egret 200(e) Avian Cholera suspect NW
NC Northampton Co. 02/15/00-03/03/00 Tundra Swan 30(e) Open NW
NE Lake Helen, Gothenburg 01/31/00-01/31/00 Canada Goose 35(e) Open NW
NE Rainwater Basin NWR 03/04/00-03/22/00 Snow Goose, White-fronted Goose, Ross' Goose, Northern Pintail, Redhead 1,974 Avian cholera suspect FW
NY Wayne Co. 02/02/00-02/02/00 Turkey 9 Toxicosis: zinc phosphide NY
PA Allegheny Co. Monroeville 01/30/00-01/31/00 Mallard 11 Open, suspect Toxicosis NW
SC Anderson Co. 01/05/00-01/05/00 Common Grackle 50(e) Toxicosis: diazinon SC
TN Macon Co. 01/15/00-01/15/00 Black Vulture, Opossum Dog 6 Toxicosis: carbofuran SC
TX Brazoria NWR 01/06/00-01/29/00 Snow Goose, Sandhill Crane 13 Open NW
TX Laguna Atascosa Lake 01/10/00-02/10/00 Snow Goose, Green-winged Teal, American Avocet, Sandhill Crane 200(e) Open NW
TX Laguna Madre 02/09/00-02/09/00 Redhead Duck 4 Trauma suspect NW
TX Waller 01/09/00-01/31/00 Wood Duck, American Coot, Mottled Duck, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall 291 Avian cholera NW
VA Amherst Co., Buena Vista 03/15/00-03/21/00 Pine Siskin 11 Salmonellosis NW
WA Boundary Lake 01/03/00-02/18/00 Trumpeter Swan 100(e) Lead poisoning NW
WV Fairmont 05/25/99-06/08/99 Cedar Waxwing, American Robin 70(e) Toxicosis: chlorpyrifos SC
WV Randolf Co., Monterville 10/05/99-10/06/99 Swainson's Thrush, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Gray Catbird, Cape May Warbler 40 Trauma PA, SC
AR Lakes Ouachita & Greeson 10/04/99-03/01/00 Bald Eagle 5 Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy NW
SC Strom Thrumon Lake 12/03/99-03/01/00 Bald Eagle 2 Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy SC
GA Lake Juliette 10/25/99-01/01/00 American Coot 25(e) Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy SC
NC Woodlake 10/15/99-02/15/00 American Coot 50(e) Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy NW
CA Imperial Co.; Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR 12/09/99-04/30/00 Ruddy Duck, Northern Shoveler, Ring Billed Gull 6344 Avian cholera NW
CA Imperial Co.; Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR 12/16/99-04/30/00 Eared Grebe 2000(e) Open NW
CA Sacramento Complex 10/01/99-02/07/00 American Wigeon, Ross' Goose, American Coot, Northern Pintail, Snow Goose 5,255 Avian cholera NW
CA Stanislaus Co.; San Joaquin River NWR 10/01/99-02/10/00 Canada (Aleutian) Goose, Snow Goose, Ross' Goose, Canada (Cackling) Goose, American Coot 500(e) Avian cholera Tracheal obstruction NW
FL Hillsborough Co., Egmont Key NWR 08/31/99-08/31/99 Ruddy Turnstone, Pied-billed Grebe 3 Botulism type C NW
ND McLean Co. 11/08/99-11/12/99 Leopard Frog 500(e) Fungal Infection Chytridiomycosis NW
NM Socorro Co.; Bosque del Apache NWR 11/01/99-02/18/00 Snow Goose, Ross's Goose 2,795(e) Avian cholera NW
NY CT NJ NY City area Southwest Statewide 08/11/99-11/18/99 American Crow, Fish Crow 5000(e) Viral Infection: West Nile NW, CDC, NY, NJ, CT
TX Colorado, Frio, Matagorda, Waller Co's 11/25/99-02/01/00 Snow Goose, White-fronted Goose 3189 Avian cholera NW

(e) = estimate * = morbidity and mortality

California Dept. of Fish & Game-Wildlife Invest. Lab (CA); Centers for Disease Control, Ft. Collins, CO (CDC); Colorado Division of Wildlife (CO), Connecticut Ag. Exp. Station & Univ. of Connecticut (CT); Illinois Dept. of Nat. Res. (IL); Live- stock Disease Diagnostic Center (KY); Louisiana Game & Fish (LA); Nat'l Wildlife Health Center (NW); New Jersey Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (NJ); New York State Dept. of Env. Cons. (NY); Purdue Diagnostics Lab (PD); Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SC); US Geological Survey (GS), Washington Dept. of Fish & Game (WA), and Wisconsin Dept. of Nat. Res. (WI).

Written and compiled by Kathryn Converse, Kimberli Miller, Linda Glaser, Terry Creekmore, and Audra Schrader, National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC). To report mortality or if you would like specific information on these mortalities, contact one of the following NWHC staff: Western US Kathryn Converse; Eastern US--Kimberli Miller; Hawaiian Islands--Thierry Work. Phone (608) 270-2400, FAX (608) 270-2415 or E-mail kathy_converse@usgs.gov. National Wildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711.

Quarterly Mortality Reports

During rush hour on March 30, 2000 in Bowie, Maryland, traffic was snarled and motorists startled along Route 50 when 200-250 starlings "rained" down on traffic. Carcasses examined at the National Wildlife Health Center and the Maryland Department of Agriculture had extensive traumatic lesions and have tested negative for a variety of toxins. An airport is nearby and it is possible the birds were caught in a down draft. Of interest, when the event was reported to authorities, several motorists misidentified the birds as "chickens".

Over the past year, at least seven Stellars jays with swollen feet have been observed on the Campus of Humboldt State University in Humboldt, California. Mite fragments were observed microscopically in sections of foot lesions of the one bird was submitted to NWHC. This mite was most likely podoknemidokoptiasis, the scaly-leg mite.

Epizootics of salmonellosis in songbirds using bird feeders were reported in March by several diagnostic laboratories and private citizens in the states of Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Pine siskins and redpolls were the primary species affected. Birds submitted to NWHC, Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Michigan Rose Lake Wildlife Research Center and New York Dept of Conservation Wildlife Pathology Unit were confirmed to have salmonellosis. Serotyping is in progress on isolates obtained at NWHC however, the Rose Lake Center has previously confirmed S. typhimurium. Salmonellosis is a common cause of songbird mortality in the US and generally occurs as small, localized sporadic events. The last large-scale distribution of mortality occurred in the winter of 1998, when salmonellosis was confirmed in goldfinches, redpolls, and pine siskins in 16 states located primarily in the eastern and Midwestern United States.

Avian cholera was confirmed in double-crested cormorants in February on a nesting island in the Salton Sea, California. This disease was last reported in cormorants in 1979 (Montgomery et al. 1979. The epornitic of avian cholera on the Chesapeake Bay. Avian Diseases 23: 966-978).

The USGS Alaska Biological Science Center has reported observations of grossly deformed bills in a minimum of 194 birds of 12 species. The greatest number of affected birds are black-capped chickadees. The earliest report was in 1991 but the majority of the reports have been during the past two winters. The etiology of these deformities remains unknown and tests for common contaminants have been inconclusive. Currently the Center is examining DNA of deformed chickadees to detect any links between birds. More information is available at http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/bpif/requests.html.

In November 1999, hundreds of Northern leopard frogs were found dead and dying in a creek near Butte, North Dakota. The sick frogs were lethargic and had skin ulcers. The mortality was confirmed to be due to a newly described and highly lethal chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). This epizootic marked the first known case of chytridiomycosis to occur in frogs in North Dakota or adjacent states or provinces. Major population declines in amphibians in other locations are thought to be due to infections of this fungus.

For additional information please contact Dr. Scott Wright, USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Disease Investigations Branch Chief, at 608-270-2460 or Paul Slota, USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Support Services Branch Chief at 608-270-2420.

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