National Wildlife Health Center

...advancing wildlife and ecosystem health

USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
July 2012 to September 2012

Reported
State
Location Dates A Species Mortality B Diagnosis C Laboratory D
AK Becharof NWR 07/01/12-07/20/12 Tree Swallow 17 (e) Undetermined NW
AR Little Rock 07/16/12-08/15/12 Purple Martin 13 Trauma SCW
AS Tutuila 09/07/12-**** Red Jungle Fowl, Purple-capped Fruit Dove 40 (e) Open NW
AZ Mesa 07/07/12-08/20/12 Mallard 25 (e) Botulism type C NW
AZ Maricopa County 07/02/12-08/31/12 Mallard 100 (e) Botulism type C NW
AZ Maricopa 07/19/12-08/31/12 Mallard 100 (e) Botulism type C NW
AZ Maricopa County 07/01/12-08/02/12 Mallard 20 (e) Botulism suspect NW
CA Clear Lake NWR 09/03/12-12/01/12 Greater Sage Grouse 40 (e) Open: emaciation NW
CA Fresno County 09/04/12-10/22/12 Northern Shoveler, American Coot, Green-winged Teal 500 (e) Botulism type C UCD
CA Hayward Regional Shoreline 07/24/12-09/28/12 Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall 267 (e) Botulism suspect CAF
CA Laguna Niguel Regional Park 07/23/12-08/28/12 Snowy Egret, American Coot, Mallard 250 (e) Botulism suspect CAF
CA Humboldt County, Del Norte County 07/13/12-09/11/12 California Brown Pelican 130 (e) Starvation suspect NON
CA Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWRC 07/05/12-07/30/12 California Brown Pelican 12 Undetermined NW
CA Tule Lake NWR and Lower Klamath NWR 08/28/12-10/15/12 Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler 2645 (e) Botulism type C NW
DE Felton 09/10/12-09/29/12 Marbled Salamander 9 (e) Open NW
FL Everglades National Park 08/01/12-09/01/12 Alligator, Florida mud turtle, Snapping Turtle 30 (e) Undetermined NW
IL Cook County 07/02/12-**** Mallard, Canada Goose 4 Botulism type C NW
IL IL Beach State Park 08/01/12-08/08/12 Willet, Unidentified Gull, Least Sandpiper, Sanderling, Other 25 (e) Botulism suspect NON
KS Salina 08/15/12-**** Canada Goose 8 (e) Open NW
MA Middlesex County 07/30/12-09/26/12 American Crow, Red-tailed Hawk 30 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile NH, NW, TU
MD Baltimore County 07/02/12-07/05/12 Canada Goose 11 (e) Unsuitable MD, NW
MD Poplar Island 08/08/12-10/25/12 Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, Killdeer, Semipalmated Sandpiper, American Black Duck 800 (e) Botulism type C NW, PAD, SCW
MI Mackinac County 08/06/12-**** Red-necked Grebe, Herring Gull, Common Loon 25 (e) Aspergillosis NW
MI Wayne County 07/17/12-**** Mallard 14 Botulism type C MI
MN Lake Plantagenet 08/02/12-08/15/12 Double-crested Cormorant 5 (e) Viral Infection: virulent Newcastle Disease MNS, UMN
MN Gooseberry Island, Pelican Lake 08/13/12-08/31/12 Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron 375 (e) Viral Infection: virulent Newcastle Disease MNS, UMN
MN Lake Mille Lacs 08/10/12-09/30/12 Double-crested Cormorant, Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, Ring-billed Gull 30 (e) Viral Infection: virulent Newcastle Disease MNS, UMN
MN Pigeon Lake 07/16/12-09/01/12 Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Ring-billed Gull, Great Blue Heron 800 Viral Infection: virulent Newcastle Disease NW, UMN
MN Ramsey County 07/11/12-07/17/12 Canada Goose 6 (e) Botulism type C NW
MN Upper MS River NWR 09/17/12-ongoing Mallard, American Coot, Sora Rail, Blue-winged Teal 600 (e) Parasitism: trematodiasis NW
MN Well's Lake 08/03/12-08/15/12 Double-crested Cormorant 5 (e) Viral Infection: virulent Newcastle Disease MNS, UMN
MT Benton Lake NWR 07/16/12-07/25/12 Franklin's Gull 150 (e) Emaciation NW
MT Medicine Lake NWR 07/16/12-09/03/12 American White Pelican, California Gull, Double-crested Cormorant 250 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile NW
MT Molt 07/12/12-09/11/12 Red Crossbill, American Goldfinch 100 (e) Salmonellosis NW
ND Audubon NWR 07/10/12-09/01/12 Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Gadwall 118 Viral Infection: virulent Newcastle Disease NW
ND Gaukler WPA 08/19/12-**** American Coot, Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, Wood Duck, Double-crested Cormorant 30 (e) Botulism type C NW
ND Hobart Lake 07/15/12-08/15/12 Western Grebe 29 Open NW
ND Horsehead Lake 07/13/12-09/17/12 Gadwall, American Coot, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal 1640 Botulism suspect NW
ND Lake Alice NWR 08/01/12-09/15/12 Blue-winged Teal, Unidentified Sandpiper, Unidentified Waterfowl 45 (e) Trauma NW
ND Lake Nettie NWR 08/05/12-08/12/12 Franklin's Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Gadwall, Canvasback, Redhead Duck 40 (e) Open NW
ND Mud Lake 08/01/12-08/20/12 Western Grebe, Unidentified Waterfowl, Unidentified Sandpiper 25 (e) Emaciation NW
ND Nelson County 08/01/12-08/31/12 Mallard, Unidentified Shorebird, Unidentified Waterfowl, Unidentified Sandpiper 25 (e) Open NW
ND Stump Lake, Devils Lake WMD 07/27/12-**** Ring-billed Gull, Semipalmated Sandpiper, American Avocet, Canada Goose 30 (e) Open NW
ND Zahl NWR 07/04/12-07/30/12 Ring-billed Gull, California Gull 200 (e) Viral Infection: Circovirus NW
NE Marsh Lake, Valentine NWR 07/27/12-08/24/12 Western Grebe 10 (e) Emaciation NW
NJ Millville 08/14/12-08/14/12 Red-winged Blackbird 10 Toxicosis: Avitrol SCW
NV Las Vegas 09/24/12-12/18/12 Eurasian Collared Dove, Red-necked Phalarope 150 (e) Viral Infection: pigeon paramyxovirus 1 NW
ONT Rainy Lake, Voyageurs National Park 07/10/12-**** Double-crested Cormorant 18 Viral Infection: Avian Paramyxovirus 1 suspect NW
OR Washington County 09/21/12-09/22/12 Western Canada Goose 7 Toxicosis: zinc phosphide suspect NW
OR Portland 09/04/12-11/05/12 Cackling Goose, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Wood Duck 4000 (e) Botulism type C NW, OR
OR Deschutes County 08/05/12-08/31/12 Bullfrog, Oregon Spotted Frog 500 (e) Viral Infection: Ranavirus NW
PA New Holland 09/06/12-09/18/12 Mallard 13 Botulism type C NW
SD Benson WPA 09/20/12-09/24/12 American White Pelican, Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull 26 Open NW
SD Blue Blanket Lake 07/01/12-08/25/12 Unidentified Duck or Goose, Franklin's Gull, Mallard, American Coot, Wood Duck 309 Botulism type C NW
SD Blythe Slough GPA 07/14/12-07/16/12 Double-crested Cormorant 15 (e) Viral Infection: virulent Newcastle Disease NW
SD LaCreek NWR 07/10/12-09/03/12 American White Pelican, Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, Unidentified Shorebird, Northern Pintail 37 (e) Open NW
SD Missouri River 08/02/12-08/21/12 Least Tern, Piping Plover, Least Sandpiper, Sanderling, Other 95 Open NW
TX Big Springs 07/24/12-09/15/12 Eurasian Collared Dove 200 (e) Viral Infection: pigeon paramyxovirus 1 NW
TX Midland 07/28/12-10/01/12 Eurasian Collared Dove, White-winged Dove 1000 (e) Viral Infection: pigeon paramyxovirus 1 NW
WA Tacoma 08/03/12-08/05/12 American Crow 100 Viral Infection: Reo virus WA
WA Protection Island NWR 08/01/12-09/11/12 Pigeon Guillemot 21 (e) Undetermined NW
WI Milwaukee 07/06/12-07/18/12 Ring-billed Gull 100 (e) Salmonellosis NW
WI Beaver Dam Lake 07/25/12-08/25/12 Mallard 30 Botulism type C NW
WI Fond Du Lac 07/16/12-08/06/12 Mallard 16 Botulism type C NW
WI Horicon NWR 07/10/12-08/29/12 Wood Duck, Mallard, American White Pelican, Ring-billed Gull, Green-winged Teal 405 Botulism type C NW
WI Peshtigo Point 09/10/12-09/17/12 Double-crested Cormorant 9 Viral Infection: virulent Newcastle Disease NW
WI Upper MS River NWR 09/17/12-ongoing American Coot, Blue-winged Teal 210 (e) Parasitism: trematodiasis NW

A **** = cessation date not available.

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

C Suspect = diagnosis is not finalized or completed tests were unable to confirm the diagnosis, but field signs and historic patterns indicate the disease; Open = diagnosis is not finalized and tests are on-going; Undetermined = testing is complete or was not pursued and no cause of death was evident; NOS = not otherwise specified.

D California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab Network (CAF), Maryland Diagnostic Laboratory (MD), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MI), Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNS), National Wildlife Health Center (NW), New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (NH), No diagnostics pursued (NON), Oregon State Diagnostic Laboratory (OR), Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Lab (PAD), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), Tufts University, Massachusetts (TU), UC Davis (UCD), University of Minnesota Diagnostic Lab (UMN), Washington State Disease Laboratory (WA).

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

Pigeon Paramyxovirus in Eurasian Collared Doves (Arizona, Texas, Nevada)
USGS NWHC in partnership with Arizona Division of Wildlife, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, US Fish and Wildlife Service Las Vegas Field Office, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife investigated five Eurasian collared dove (Streptopeliadecaocto) mortality events in Arizona, Texas and Nevada during late summer through the fall of 2012. Pigeon paramyxovirus was identified as the primary cause of death in these five events and ranged in size from ~100 to 2300 birds. In addition, two rock dove (Columba livia) mortality eventsattributed to PPMV involving ~50 birds, each in Pennsylvania,were investigated earlier (January-March) in 2012.

Pigeon paramyxovirus belongs to a larger group of avian paramyxovirusserogroup 1 viruses (APMV-1), the same group as Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV). Seventeen dove mortality events have been investigated by or reported to NWHC over the past 11 years in which PPMV is suspected. The first events occurred in 2001 when large-scale Eurasian collared dove mortality events (3000-5000 birds) were investigated by the University of Florida and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on the west coast and panhandle of Florida. Since then, APMV associated mortality events in doves have been documented in Florida (2008), Arizona (2008-2012), Montana (2010), and most recently, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Nevada (2012).

For further information on PPMV in Eurasian collared doves: Schuler, K.; Green, D.; Justice-Allen A., Jaffe, R.; Cunningham, M.; Thomas, N.; Spalding, M.; Ip, H. (2012) Expansion of an Exotic Species and Concomitant Disease Outbreaks: Pigeon Paramyxovirus in Free-Ranging Eurasian Collared Doves. EcoHealth 9, 163�170.

Newcastle Disease Virus in Double-crested cormorants in the Midwest (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota)
During the summer of 2012, USGS-NWHC, in partnership Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR), Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, National Park Service-Voyageurs National Park, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre, investigated thirteen Newcastle Disease virus (NDV) mortality events in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocoraxauritus). There were 11 confirmed positive NDV mortality events in double-crested cormorants in the Midwest (Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota) and at least two in Canada (Saskatchewan and Ontario). An estimated 750 cormorants died from NDV in the Midwest in 2012. The mortality events in the Midwest varied in size from about 15 cormorants affected at a site in Codington County, SD to about 400 cormorants affected at a site in Meeker County, Minnesota. The majority of the mortality events took place in MN.

NDV is a member of the avian paramyxovirus-1 serogroup, and strains classified as virulent NDV have the potential to cause disease in poultry. Because of the potential for NDV to affect poultry, the MNDNR in cooperation with United States Department of Agriculture-Minnesota Wildlife Services performed intensive clean-up efforts of carcasses at several of the sites in Minnesota and closed several of the islands to human traffic to prevent accidental spread of the virus. As is typical during NDV mortality events in cormorants, mortality was observed in other co-nesting species such as American white pelicans and ring-billed gulls at several of the NDV sites in 2012, but when carcasses of these species were examined, they were found to have other causes of death, including West Nile Virus and botulism Type C.

Rabid Wolverine in Alaska
(Adapted from report written by Dr. KimberleeBeckmen, AK Dept of Fish and Game) Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Wildlife Conservation (ADFG DWC) Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. KimberleeBeckmen diagnosed the first recorded case of rabies in a wolverine (Gulogulo) in North America this summer. The wolverine was found dead in June 2012 by ADFG wildlife biologists while flying a helicopter northwest of Umiat on the North Slope of Alaska. The frozen carcass was completely intact, with no scavenging or visible signs of trauma, so it was flown to Fairbanks for necropsy. The wolverine had a recent, non-fatal wolf bite to the masseter muscle of the jaw.

The diagnosis was made possible through an expanded rabies surveillance initiative in Alaska that allows screening of large numbers of wildlife specimens via the dRIT (direct rapid immunohistochemical test) method. The Centers for Disease Control recently confirmed the wolverine was suffering from an arctic fox (Vulpeslagopus) strain of rabies.

Rabies is endemic in arctic fox only along Alaska�s coast but frequently spills over to red fox, sometimes in epidemic numbers of cases. In the past two years ADFG has tested more than 600 animals, including hundreds of foxes, more than 100 wolves, 19 bats and four wolverines. Of the samples tested, 2.8 percent tested positive for rabies, representing foxes exclusively with the exception of this one wolverine.

Waterbird mortality at Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project (Maryland)
Beginning in early August 2012, sick and dead birds, consisting predominantly of mallards (Anasplatyrhynchos) and shorebirds, occurred at the southern end of Poplar Island. Clinical signs included head droop, weakness, lethargy, prolapsed third eyelids, and paralysis of legs and/or wings, suggestive of avian botulism. Mortality continued until late October and involved over 20 species of waterbirds; more than 750 birds; 86% of those died.Survival among affected birds receiving supportive care at TriState Bird Rescue &Research approached 40%. Botulism Type C was confirmed in several mallards submitted after the onset of the event; however, a concurrent algal bloom was present on the island with high levels (1200�>6000 ppb) of microcystin detected in the water. Additional algal toxins and heavy metals were not identified. Varying levels of microcystinwere detected in the livers (79-254 ppb) and GI contents (53-54 ppb) of dead birds; the clinical significance of these findings remain unclear due to inconsistent presence of corresponding microscopic lesions in the liver. Liver concentrations of microcystin from this event were within the ranges reported in prior avian mortality events where microcystins were implicated and thus were suspected to play a role in this event. Investigation of this event was a collaborative effort among USFish and Wildlife Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Environmental Service, New Bolton Center (Univ. of PA), Greenwater Labs, USGS-National Wildlife Health Center, Southeastern CooperativeWildlife Disease Study, and Tristate Bird Rescue.

Mysterious skin growth and mortality reported among Florida reptiles
In late July 2012, Everglades National Park Service staff received reports from a local air boat operator of an unusual white, gelatinous substanceobserved on captive and free-ranging alligators and aquatic turtles. The material was distributed on theheads and bodies of the animals around the feet, eyes, and tails.The presence of this gelatinous substance appeared to be associated with anorexia and mortality. The airboat operator reported observing similar field signs 14 months earlier at another local captive facility. Mortality in one captive population was estimated to be ~30 native reptiles of mixed species. Non-native reptiles housed at the same facility appeared unaffected. No natural mortality could be confirmed among free-ranging reptiles that were reported with this same condition.

An alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine), Florida mud turtle (Kinosternonsubrubrumsteindachneri), and Florida softshell turtle (Apaloneferox) with varying degrees of the white material observed on skin surfaces were euthanized and submitted to the USGS-National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) for diagnostic evaluation in August 2012. At least 2 specimens had recently been captured from the wild. Anexperienced reptile veterinarian who examined the specimens prior to submission described varying presentations of the white material consistent with calcium deposition,exfoliating skin, or fungal infection, suggestive of poor water quality. During diagnostic necropsies performed at NWHC, the animals had unremarkable externalexams and the only skin abnormalities present were small ulcerations noted ontwo of the specimens. No white material was observed. Three of thespecimens had insignificant loads of gastrointestinal parasites. Noviruses were isolated from skin or internal organs. Bacteria and fungi isolates from skin were inconsistent and were considered environmental contaminants. The cause of this morbidity and mortality event among affected reptiles remains undetermined. NWHC encourages continued monitoring of wild reptile populations in the area for clinical signs and/or mortality to allow for additional diagnostic evaluation.

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