National Wildlife Health Center

...advancing wildlife and ecosystem health

USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
July 2011 to September 2011

Reported
State
Location Dates A Species Mortality B Diagnosis C Labsite D
AK North Slope 07/25/11-ongoing Ringed Seal, Pacific Walrus 60 (e) Open AKF, FAD, NOA, UFL, UGA, WA
AK St. Lazaria Island 07/05/11-08/25/11 Leach's Storm Petrel, Fork-tailed Storm Petrel 12 Predation NW
AK Ualik Lake 09/20/11-10/20/11 Glaucous-winged Gull 70 (e) Emaciation NW
AK Whittier 08/08/11-08/08/11 Black-legged Kittiwake, Unidentified Avian, Glaucous Gull 174 Open NW
CA Hayward Regional Shoreline 09/16/11-**** Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Mallard 2,500 (e) Open, Botulism suspect NW
CA Lake Forest lakes 09/05/11-10/13/11 Mallard 30 (e) Botulism suspect UNK
CA Madera 07/05/11-08/01/11 Unidentified Shorebird, Black-necked Stilt, Mallard 30 (e) Botulism type C NW
CA Concord 07/05/11-07/28/11 Mallard, Canada Goose 50 (e) Undetermined NW
CA Sacramento NWR 08/04/11-09/09/11 Mallard 17 (e) Botulism type C NW
CA Salton Sea NWR 07/15/11-09/01/11 California Brown Pelican 40 (e) Botulism type C NW
CA San Joaquin River NWR 09/26/11-10/03/11 Mallard, American White Pelican, Long-billed Dowitcher 15 (e) Botulism suspect NW
CO Denver 07/02/11-**** Unidentified Duck 24 (e) Botulism suspect OT
CO Utah Park 08/01/11-08/31/11 Unidentified Duck 76 (e) Botulism type C UNK
FL Orlando 09/21/11-09/30/11 Muscovy Duck 53 Undetermined, Botulism suspect FL, NW
IA Four Mile Township 07/06/11-07/19/11 Big Brown Bat 12 (e) Predation NW
ID Donnelly 08/01/11-08/03/11 Little Brown Bat, Western Pipistrelle Bat 11 Undetermined NW
ID Ramon Cave 07/01/11-08/25/11 Western Small-footed Bat 50 (e) Starvation ID
IL McKinley Park 08/15/11-**** Canada Goose 19 Botulism type C NW
MD Mount Airy 08/13/11-08/27/11 Green Frog 250 (e) Open NW
MD Poplar Island 08/18/11-09/21/11 Great Black-backed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant 10 Viral Infection: West Nile NW
MI Macomb County 07/29/11-08/22/11 Mallard 45 (e) Botulism type C MI
MI Gulliver, Lake Michigan 06/02/11-11/11/11 Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Loon, Northern Flicker, Herring Gull 29 Botulism suspect NON
MI Sleeping Bear Dunes, National Lakeshore 07/10/11-11/21/11 Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Loon, Herring Gull, Unidentified Gull 298 Botulism type E NW
MN Moorhead 08/25/11-10/21/11 Mallard, Canada Goose 346 (e) Botulism type C NW
MN Pelican Lake 08/09/11-**** Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant 80 (e) Open NW
MS Harrison Experimental Forest 09/12/11-09/13/11 Mississippi Gopher Frog 2,400 (e) Open, Suspect husbandry or water quality stressors NW
ND Chase Lake 07/05/11-09/22/11 Unidentified Gull, California Gull, Ring-billed Gull, American White Pelican 200 (e) Salmonellosis NW
ND Grand Forks 07/05/11-07/10/11 Unidentified Duck, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Mallard, Unidentified Waterfowl 60 (e) Botulism type C NW
ND Horsehead Lake 08/15/11-09/15/11 Blue-winged Teal, American Coot, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead 250 Botulism type C NW
NV Churchill County 08/29/11-11/01/11 Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, White-faced Ibis 2,986 (e) Botulism type C NW
NV Las Vegas 08/25/11-09/19/11 Mallard 28 (e) Botulism type C NW
NY Hamlin Beach State Park 07/15/11-11/07/11 Ring-billed Gull, Common Loon 29 Botulism type E COR
NY Jefferson County, Lake Ontario 06/27/11-11/22/11 Loon, Common, Long-Tailed (AKA Oldsquaw), Ring-billed Gull, White-winged Scoter, Red-necked Grebe 111 Botulism suspect COR
OH Columbus 07/02/11-07/02/11 Canada Goose, Mallard 6 Toxicosis: carbofuran suspect NW
OH New Albany 07/23/11-07/25/11 House Finch, House Sparrow 600 (e) Undetermined NW
OH Lewis Center 07/19/11-07/25/11 Mallard 12 Botulism suspect NW
OH Hilliard 07/19/11-08/12/11 Mallard, Unidentified Fish 25 (e) Botulism type C NW
ONT Georgian Bay, Lake Huron 08/22/11-10/31/11 White-winged Scoter, Long-Tailed (AKA Oldsquaw), Canada Goose, Unidentified Cormorant, Unidentified Gull 6,000 (e) Botulism type E CCW
ONT Point Pelee, Lake Erie 07/20/11-**** Unidentified Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull *** Botulism type E CCW
SD Blue Blanket Lake 08/25/11-**** Redhead Duck, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, American Coot 1,014 (e) Botulism type C NW
SD Koss WPA 09/21/11-**** Unidentified Waterfowl, Unidentified Shorebird, Great Blue Heron 50 (e) Botulism type C NW
SD Sorensen WPA 09/13/11-**** Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, American Coot, Unidentified Waterfowl 220 (e) Botulism type C NW
SD Swan Lake 07/21/11-09/01/11 Franklin's Gull, American Coot, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler 100 (e) Botulism type C NW
UT Liberty Park Pond 08/26/11-09/14/11 Mallard 50 (e) Botulism suspect NW, UT
WA Kent 07/30/11-10/21/11 American Crow 11 (e) Emaciation NW
WI Door County 07/07/11-10/13/11 Canada Goose 67 Emaciation MI, NW
WI Green Bay 09/04/11-09/16/11 Double-crested Cormorant, Common Loon 6 Newcastle Disease Virus NW
WI Hat Island 08/08/11-08/18/11 American White Pelican, Mallard, Herring Gull 26 (e) Botulism type E NW
WI Little Lake Butte des Morts 09/08/11-09/22/11 Canada Goose, Unidentified Duck, Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant 50 (e) Botulism type C NW, WI
WI Milwaukee 09/11/11-09/19/11 Double-crested Cormorant 6 Newcastle Disease Virus NW
WI Spider and Pilot Islands 08/10/11-08/16/11 Double-crested Cormorant 7 (e) Botulism type E NW
WY Yellowstone National Park 07/04/11-**** Tiger Salamander 23 Viral Infection: Ranavirus suspect NW
NH, MA, ME Multiple States 09/01/11-10/31/11 Harbor Seal 200 (e) Pneumonia, Viral Infection: Influenza A suspect NOA, NW, OT, SW, UCT
Updates and Corrections:
Reported
State
Location Dates A Species Mortality B Diagnosis C Labsite D
AK Kodiak Island 05/16/11-05/25/11 American Crow, Black-billed Magpie, Glaucous-winged Gull, Unidentified Pigeon 9 Trauma NW
MD Montgomery County 05/03/11-10/17/11 Eastern Box Turtle 9 (e) Viral Infection: Ranavirus NW
MI Leelanau County 01/01/11-01/31/11 Little Brown Bat 20 (e) Open NW
OH Paulding 06/20/11-07/06/2011 Little Brown Bat 37 (e) Undetermined, emaciation NW
QUE Abitibi-Temiscamingue 03/10/11-05/15/11 Little Brown Bat 25 (e) Fungal Infection: white-nose syndrome CCW
QUE Jamesie Region 05/13/11-05/15/11 Little Brown Bat, Unidentified Bat 100 (e) Fungal Infection: white-nose syndrome CCW
WI Door County 06/10/11-12/09/11 Unidentified Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, American White Pelican 107 Botulism type E NW

A **** = cessation date not available.

B (e) = estimate, *** = mortality estimate not available.

C Suspect diagnosis = diagnosis is not finalized or completed tests were unable to confirm the diagnosis, but field signs and historic patterns indicate the disease.

D Alaska Department of Fish and Game (AKF), Cornell University (COR), Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCW), USDA Foreign Animal Disease Laboratory (FAD), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FL), Idaho Wildlife Health Laboratory (ID), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MI), National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOA), No diagnostics pursued (NON), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Other (OT), Sea World (SW), University of Connecticut Wildlife Laboratory (UCT), University of Florida (UFL), University of Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UGA), Unknown (UNK), Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UT), Washington State Disease Laboratory (WA), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI).

Written and compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center Field Investigations Team members: Anne Ballmann, LeAnn White, Barb Bodenstein, Jenny Chipault and Jennifer Buckner.

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


Barb Bodenstein
Wildlife Disease Specialist
Phone: (608) 270-2447
Fax: (608) 270-2415
Email: bbodenstein@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

For single animal mortality, nationwide, please contact: Jennifer Buckner, USGS National Wildlife Health Center Biologist by phone: (608) 270-2443, fax: (608)-270-2415, or email: jBuckner@usgs.gov

Quarterly Mortality Reports

Avian Botulism Type C throughout the U.S.
Late summer and early fall represents the peak period for avian botulism events and in 2011 botulism type C events were confirmed or suspected in all four migratory bird flyways.

In the Atlantic Flyway, botulism type C was the suspect cause of death for a mortality event in Orange County, Florida involving approximately 50 resident Muscovy Ducks (Cairina moschata).

In the Mississippi Flyway, mortality associated with botulism type C affected around 400 birds, with most of the events occurring in community ponds and retention areas and affecting primarily Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and Canada Geese (Branta canadensis).

The deaths associated with type C botulism were much higher in the Central Flyway which had almost 3,000 bird deaths, primarily in waterfowl species. The largest event in this flyway occurred at Blue Blanket Lake, Walworth County, South Dakota where over 1,000 Redheads (Aythya americana), Gadwalls (Anas strepera), Blue-wing Teal (Anas discors), Mallards and American Coots (Fulica americana) were affected.

In the Pacific Flyway, ten confirmed avian botulism events were investigated by the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) and partnering agencies in Arizona, California, Nevada and Oregon. In addition, several mortality events in Utah and California were suspected to be avian botulism type C. Mortalities involved less than 200 birds per event with the exception of an event that occurred in Nevada on private land near Carson Lake State Wetland Complex and Fallon and Stillwater National Wildlife Refuges. Due to the flooding of vegetated fields during hot weather, conditions at this location were favorable for botulism. This was the largest reported botulism event in the country this year and involved an estimated 3,000 waterfowl and shorebirds of various species. In consultation with NWHC, Nevada Division of Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists were able to respond and provide daily carcass pick up and disease management activities to mitigate the extent of this die-off. Disease management activities were essential since the location of the mortality was within two miles of a migratory staging area for over 80,000 additional waterfowl and shorebirds. One of the species most affected early in the mortality event were White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi).

Avian botulism Type E in the Great Lakes Region
Avian botulism type E mortality events, which are typically confined to the Great Lakes in the United States, were confirmed on Lake Ontario (Monroe and Wayne Counties, New York), northern Lake Erie, southeastern Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, and on Lake Michigan (Door County, Wisconsin and Leelanau County, Michigan). The botulism-confirmed mortality events on Lake Michigan were much larger than those reported on Lake Ontario; however, active surveillance for bird mortalities is conducted on Lake Michigan by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore volunteers and USGS Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events Program (AMBLE) volunteers. The largest mortality event occurred at Lake Huron beginning in August, and affected fish (mostly sturgeon) and later birds. Avian mortalities occurred between September and October with an estimated total mortality of 3,000-8,000 birds: affected species included Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis), Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), Common Loons (Gavia immer), Red-necked Grebes (Podiceps grisegena), Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis), and White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca). Reporting agencies include National Wildlife Health Center, Cornell University, and Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center.

Mortality in captive Mississippi Gopher Frog larvae (Harrison County, Mississippi)
In September, the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) was contacted for assistance with an overnight mortality event involving approximately 2,400 newly hatched endangered larval Mississippi Gopher Frogs (Rana sevosa). The tadpoles originated from portions of several egg masses that had been collected one week earlier from a single natural pond for captive propagation. No natural mortality among adults or egg masses was observed at the pond at the time of collection. NWHC received representative specimens from each egg mass for diagnostic evaluation. Notable abnormalities in the 1-2 mm sized hatchlings from two egg masses included the presence of blisters and fluid accumulation in the skin and tails. Many of the tadpoles also had oddly curled tail tips. It could not be determined if these lesions occurred before death or represent post-mortem artifact. In addition, some of the tadpoles appeared too underdeveloped to have hatched under normal conditions, suggesting that some of the eggs might have prematurely burst open releasing the tadpoles. The cause of mortality is still under investigation although adverse husbandry conditions, such as exposure to acidified water, are one possible explanation for these findings. No fungi were observed and no viruses were isolated from pooled samples. Mississippi Gopher Frogs, a federally-listed species since 2004, currently number less than 100 adults in two isolated populations in southern Mississippi. An undescribed systemic Perkinsus-like protozoan infection and chytridiomycosis are known disease threats to the remaining population, as is predation of egg masses by Caddisfly larvae and snakes.

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