National Wildlife Health Center

...advancing wildlife and ecosystem health

USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
October 2012 to December 2012

Reported
State
Location Dates A Species Mortality B Diagnosis C Laboratory D
AK Anchorage 11/01/12-12/03/12 Tundra Swan 5 (e) Emaciation: parasitism NW
AZ Lake Mead 12/31/12-12/31/12 Eared Grebe 100 (e) Trauma AZ, NW
CA Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties 10/08/12-01/18/13 Western Grebe, Clark's Grebe 150 (e) Emaciation, Aspergillosis CFG, NW, UCD
CA Multiple Counties 12/19/12-**** Red-tailed Hawk 50 (e) Undetermined CAF, CFG
CA Kern County 11/09/12-11/16/12 Hybrid Mallard Duck, Mallard 100 (e) Botulism suspect NON
CA Hayward Region Marsh 11/15/12-**** Unidentified Waterfowl 167 (e) Avian cholera suspect CFG, NON
CA Arcata Bottoms 12/28/12-01/23/13 Tundra Swan, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Pintail, Mallard 3079 (e) Avian cholera CAF, CFG
CA Los Gatos 11/07/12-02/01/13 Pine Siskin 10 (e) Salmonellosis suspect CAF, CFG
CA Pescadero 10/24/12-02/01/13 Pine Siskin 10 (e) Salmonellosis CFG
CA Roberts Lake 12/17/12-01/07/13 Unidentified Duck, Unidentified Gull, Unidentified Domestic Or Hybrid Goose 5 Avian cholera suspect CFG, NON
CA Orange County 11/16/12-12/12/12 American Wigeon, Mallard 70 (e) Botulism suspect NON
IL Upper MS River NWR 10/01/12-10/15/12 American Coot, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Canada Goose 120 (e) Parasitism: trematodiasis NW
KY Henderson County 11/14/12-11/29/12 Mallard 20 (e) Undetermined NW, SCW
LA Vermilion County 12/12/12-12/12/12 Northern Pintail 10 Trauma SCW
MA Wellfleet Bay 10/03/12-11/19/12 Common Eider 185 (e) Viral Infection suspect NW, SCW
MI Gull Lake 12/18/12-12/18/12 American Coot 4 Bacterial enteritis MI, MSU
MI Lake Michigan 10/22/12-10/22/12 Common Loon, Long-Tailed (AKA Oldsquaw) Duck, White-winged Scoter, Red-necked Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser 96 Botulism suspect NON
MN Bowstring Lake 11/01/12-12/01/12 Ring-necked Duck, Mallard, Lesser Scaup 11 Parasitism: trematodiasis NW
MN Lake Winnibigoshish 10/19/12-12/01/12 American Coot, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup 29 Parasitism: trematodiasis NW
MT Yellowstone County 11/15/12-12/03/12 Mallard 20 (e) Aspergillosissuspect NON
NE Stanton County 12/12/12-**** Greater Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose 156 Undetermined NW
NJ Monmouth County 10/23/12-10/23/12 Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow 16 Trauma SCW
NV Clark County 10/01/12-12/31/12 Mourning Dove, Rock Dove 10 (e) Toxicosis: Avitrol NV, NW
NY Saratoga County 10/15/12-11/01/12 Rock Dove *** Viral Infection: Avian Paramyxovirus 1 COR
NY Eastern Lake Ontario 10/23/12-11/15/12 Common Loon, Long-Tailed Duck, Ring-billed Gull, Red-necked Grebe, Herring Gull 59 Botulism suspect NY
NY Lake Ontario 10/30/12-11/01/12 Mudpuppy Salamander 121 (e) Undetermined NW
NY Oswego County 11/01/12-11/06/12 Long-Tailed Duck, Common Loon, Unidentified Grebe, Unidentified Gull 45 (e) Undetermined COR
OK Verdigris 12/02/12-12/03/12 Red-winged Blackbird 100 (e) Trauma SCW
OR Marion County 10/01/12-11/30/12 Cackling Goose 35 (e) Aspergillosis suspect OR
OR Deschutes River 10/21/12-10/21/12 Columbia Spotted Frog 6 (e) Undetermined NW
TN Seymour 12/30/12-12/30/12 European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird 100 (e) Open SCW
TX Lynn County 11/07/12-**** Eurasian Collared Dove 67 (e) Viral Infection: PigeonParamyxovirus 1 NW
TX Lamb County 12/30/12-**** Lesser Sandhill Crane 100 (e) Open NW
WA Columbia River 10/02/12-12/01/12 Cackling Goose 20 (e) Aspergillosis NW
WI Mt. Horeb 12/24/12-**** Pine Siskin 9 (e) Salmonellosis NW
Updates and Corrections:
Reported
State
Location Dates A Species Mortality B Diagnosis C Laboratory D
FL Brevard County 07/25/12-ongoing Manatee 38 Open: Toxicosis suspect FL
IL Cook County 07/02/12-07/16/12 Mallard, Canada Goose 4 Botulism type C NW
IL Waukegan 06/09/12-08/29/12 Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Unidentified Gull, Rock Dove 8 Botulism type E NW
IN Indiana Dunes NP 06/06/12-11/10/12 Ring-billed Gull, Unidentified Sparrow, Unidentified Waterfowl, Unidentified Hawk, Tree Swallow 37 Botulism type C and E NW
MI Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 06/23/12-11/20/12 Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Long-tailed Duck, Red-necked Grebe, Horned Grebe 1565 Botulism type E NW
MI Gulliver, Lake Michigan 06/06/12-11/21/12 Red-necked Grebe, Horned Grebe 865 Botulism type E NW
MI Manistique, Lake Michigan shoreline 09/01/12-11/15/12 Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Ring-billed Gull, Red-necked Grebe 342 (e) Botulism type E MI
MI Antrim County, Lake Michigan 09/01/12-12/01/12 Common Loon, Unidentified Gull 8 Botulism type E MI
MI Mackinac County 08/06/12-11/19/12 Common Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Unidentified Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Unidentified Duck 75 (e) Botulism type E, Aspergillosis NW
MI Leelanau County 09/15/12-12/05/12 Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Red-necked Grebe, Horned Grebe, Long-tailed Duck 214 Botulism type E MI
MI Brimley State Park 08/06/12-10/21/12 Ring-billed Gull, White-winged Scoter 5 Botulism type E NW
MI Emmet County, Lake Michigan 08/12/12-12/12/12 Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Red-necked Grebe, Horned Grebe, Unidentified Grebe 1012 Botulism type E MI
MN Marsh Lake 07/18/12-08/31/12 American White Pelican 2360 (e) Botulism type C, Viral Infection: West Nile NW, UMN
ND Stump Lake, Devils Lake WMD 07/27/12-08/15/12 Ring-billed Gull, Semipalmated Sandpiper, American Avocet, Canada Goose 30 (e) Botulism suspect NW
ND Gaukler WPA 08/19/12-08/30/12 American Coot, Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, Wood Duck, Double-crested Cormorant 30 (e) Botulism type C NW
NY Ulster County 09/13/12-10/04/12 Rock Dove *** Viral Infection: Circovirus suspect COR
NY Saratoga County 10/15/12-11/01/12 Rock Dove *** Viral Infection: Avian Paramyxovirus 1 COR
NY Multiple Counties 06/25/12-12/28/12 American Crow, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Northern Goshawk, Eastern Gray Squirrel 104 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile COR, OT
WI Upper MS River NWR 09/17/12-12/07/12 American Coot, Blue-winged Teal 210 (e) Parasitism: trematodiasis NW
WI Lake Michigan and Green Bay beaches 06/05/12-11/21/12 Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Unidentified Gull, American White Pelican 108 Botulism type E NW
WI Sheboygan County 07/02/12-11/10/12 Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant 8 Botulism type E 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 University of Arizona Diagnostic Laboratory (AZ), California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory Network (CAF), Cornell University (COR), Disease Laboratory of the California Fish & Game (Wildlife Investigations Lab) (CFG), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FL), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MI), Michigan State University (MSU), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Nevada Division of Wildlife (NV), No diagnostics pursued (NON), NY State, DEC, Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources (NY), Oregon State Diagnostic Laboratory (OR), Other (OT), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), UC Davis (UCD), University of Minnesota Diagnostic Laboratory (UMN)

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

Common Eider mortality attributed to Wellfleet Bay virus continues (Massachusetts)
Morbidity and mortality among common eiders located on the bayside of the Cape Cod peninsula was first reported in the late 1990s and has ocurred almost annually since 2006; often in both the spring and fall. A novel virus, recently identified within the familyOrthomyxoviridae and dubbed �Wellfleet Bay virus� (WFBV) based on the predominance of dead birds at this location, was first detected in 2006. In the past, numbers affected have ranged from less than 20 to several thousand eiders per year. On-going surveillance by partners in 2012 identified a single fall mortality event beginning in early October and lasting through mid-November that involved an estimated 185 eiders. Clinical signs included weakness, thin body condition, and fecal staining around the vent. Several thousand apparently unaffected common eiders and black scoters were observed offshore. Although WFBV was not isolated from this year�s die-off, lesions consistent with this viral infection as demonstrated in infection trials conducted at NWHC were present. Additional study in collaboration with Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified several possible routes of viral transmission among eiders. The overall impact of WFBV infection on the Common eider population is not known.Contacts: Anne Ballmann, National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2445, aballmann@usgs.gov

Trematodiasis in the Mississippi Flyway
Trematodiasis caused by the exotic trematodesSphaeridotremaglobulus, Cyathocotylebushiensis, and Leyogonimuspolyoon was associated with >6,300 avian mortalities in the Mississippi Flyway in 2012. Trematodiasis associated mortality in the Mississippi Flyway was much lower than in 2011 when mortality was estimated to be over 15,000 dead birds. Nevertheless, the 2012 trematodiasis mortality estimates were still almost twice as high as the next leading cause of mortality, botulism type E, which was associated with ~3,700 avian deaths in the Mississippi Flyway in 2012. These mortality estimates may be somewhat influenced by the fact that trematodiasis is one of the few diseases for which weekly long-term monitoring by biologists at the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge have been conducted. Carcasses testedat USGS-National Wildlife Health Center have been positive for trematodiasis every spring and fall on the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge (UMNWR) since its discovery there in 2002.

Total cumulative mortality on the UMNWR attributed totrematodiasis for the last ten years (2002-2012) is approximately 87,500 birds. American coot and lesser scaup make up about 95% of the total mortality associated with trematodiasis even though they account for only a quarter of the birds migrating on the Upper Mississippi River. Although there have been declines in the lesser scaup since the 1980s with a record low in 2005, the 2012 population estimate for lesser scaup was around 5.2 million birds which was 21% higher than in 2011. Whether this disease is affecting fluctuations in lesser scaup populations is currently unknown. Contact:LeAnn White, National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2491, clwhite@usgs.gov

White-nose syndrome mid-winter update 2012/2013
White-nose syndrome (WNS) in cave-hibernating bats has recently been confirmed in several counties in Illinois, Georgia, and South Carolina, and on Prince Edward Island (Canada) during winter 2012/2013 bringing the total number of affected states and Canadian provinces to 22 and 5, respectively. Expansion of WNS now extends west of the Mississippi River to Crawford County, Missouri, and south to Jackson County, Alabama, more than 800 miles (1,300 km) from the presumed index site in Schoharie County, New York. The disease continues to spread into new counties within WNS-endemic states and provinces. Several of these range expansions have been associated with bat mortality or significant decreases in winter bat population counts, while others report only visible manifestation of fungal growth on a small percentage of hibernating bats. An analysis completed by USFWS biologists and collaborators estimates that since 2006, over 5 million bats have died from WNS. Endangered gray bats (Myotisgrisescens) were added last winter season to the list of cave bat species susceptible to WNS, which includes little brown, northern long-eared, tri-colored, Indiana (endangered), eastern small-footed, and big brown bats. For the latest WNS updates, consult NWHC Wildlife Health Bulletins: http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/wildlife_health_bulletins/index.jsp. Current bat submission guidelines to NWHC are available at: http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/disease_information/white-nose_syndrome/USGS_NWHC_Bat_WNS_submission_protocol.pdfContacts: Anne Ballmann, National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2445, aballmann@usgs.gov

Kittlitz�sMurrelet nestling mortalities on Kodiak Island (Alaska)
Several apparently healthy Kittlitz�smurrelet nestlings on Kodiak Island, Alaska, died suddenly with no apparent cause as determined by field biologists working on a nesting ecology project in 2011 and 2012. Most nestlings were being monitored by remote cameras that indicated nestlings were being fed regularly by adults and died during mild weather conditions. This unexplained mortality accounted for 21% of the overall mortality in 2011. Historically, the majority of chick mortality is attributed to predation and nest abandonment. Nine nestlings (2011=6; 2012=3) were collected and sent to NWHC for diagnostic evaluation. Laboratory tests revealed high levels of saxitoxin in crop content and/or liver in 87% of nestlings, and it was determined that exposure to saxitoxin was likely the cause of death. Camera data indicated that nestlings died shortly after consuming sand lance, which is the fish species commonly associated with the biomagnification of saxitoxin. An individual pigeon guillemot nestling from Protection Island and an adult marbled murrelet from San Juan Island, Washington, were negative for exposure. Wild bird deaths due to saxitoxin exposure have rarely been documented; mortality has been reported in piscivorous birds such as common murres and loons in Washington State, and cormorants, fulmars and gulls in northeastern England. NWHC is interested in receiving reports and specimens from any mortalities involving seabird species to continue to investigate saxitoxins as well as other biotoxins (domoic acid, brevetoxins, etc.) as potential causes of death. Contact: Barbara Bodenstein, National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2447, bbodenstein@usgs.gov

Monitoring avian botulism at Great Lakes beaches
Avian botulism is caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which is widespread in soil. C. botulinum is usually dormant, but can germinate in aquatic environments during warm temperatures where there is anoxia (caused by conditions such as decomposing Cladophora algae or other vegetation) and available protein sources (e.g., the remains of small animals such as insects and invertebrates). Botulism is one of the most significant causes of wild bird mortality worldwide and avian botulism type E has caused large-scale bird deaths in the Great Lakes since the 1960s.

Scientists from the USGS and the National Park Service (NPS) are collaborating to explore the ecological pathways through which botulism toxin is transported to birds by collecting environmental data and tracking type E botulism related wildlife deaths. Key components of this project are the NPS-Sleeping Bear Dunes and USGS-National Wildlife Health Center AMBLE (Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events) volunteer beach monitors, who assist in recording timing, numbers, and species of bird carcasses deposited on beaches. In 2012, additional USGS beach monitors were hired and have provided support to the project through increased frequency of monitoring (e.g., daily) at more Great Lakes beach locations throughout the field season.

Botulism type E was confirmed in multiple species submitted to the NWHC for testing during both high and low mortality years, demonstrating that low-level avian botulism type E mortality can occur in the absence of large die-off events. Common loons, long-tailed ducks, horned grebes, double-crested cormorants, and ring-billed gulls were the most frequently found carcasses. Approximately 60% of the bird carcasses tested by the NWHC have returned positive results, indicating that botulism type E is the main driver for these mortality events. This information will help wildlife managers understand the environmental conditions and disease pathways that result in the deaths of birds and other wildlife. This study is funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. More information about AMBLE can be found at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/AMBLE/Contact: Jennifer Chipault, National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2473, AMBLE@usgs.gov; ZacNajacht, National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2400 ext. 2394, znajacht@usgs.gov

2012 West Nile Virus Update
West Nile Virus (WNV) was detected in 48 states and there were nearly 5,400 human cases (the second highest since first detected in 1999) according to the Centers for Disease Control. In addition to increased prevalence this past year, there was also an increase in the severity of neuro-invasive cases compared to the recent past. NWHC diagnosed WNV (concurrent with botulism type C) in American white pelicans in Minnesota, Medicine Lake NWR in Montana and Chase Lake NWR in North Dakota; mixed species of shorebirds on the Missouri River in South Dakota and Nebraska; a bald eagle in Wisconsin; and crows and red-tailed hawks from Massachusetts. NWHC plans to compare 2012 WNV isolates with archived isolates (from previous years) for genetic differences that may explain changes in virulence.Contact:LeAnn White, National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2491, clwhite@usgs.gov or Anne Ballmann, National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2445, aballmann@usgs.gov

Coral disease outbreak on North Kauai (Hawaii)
In November 2012, the NWHC Honolulu Field Station (HFS) investigated an unusual mortality of corals on North Kauai. Cyanobacteria were incriminated as the most likely culprit, and this was the first time this disease has been documented in epidemic proportions in Hawaii. NWHC distributed a Wildlife Health Bulletin about this outbreak that can be viewed at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/wildlife_health_bulletins/WHB_2012-06_Coral_Disease.pdfFor more information, see the USGS Top Story, Coral Disease Outbreak in Hawaii. Contact: Thierry Work, 808-792-9520, National Wildlife Health Center HFS, thierry_work@usgs.gov

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