MAN in northern BRITISH COLUMBIA dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ Impact of free-ranging DOMESTIC CATS on WILDLIFE in the UNITED STATES ~ MONTANA wolf trapper snags MOUNTAIN LION, PARK EMPLOYEE, and PARK RANGER ~ UTAH officers put down three MOUNTAIN LIONS for attacking family PETS ~ Endangered MEXICAN GRAY WOLF released in ARIZONA ~ More show HORSES quarantined with EQUINE HERPES VIRUS in COLORADO ~ RABIES reports from CA, & TX.

Deer mouse. Image by U.S. Army Medical Department.

Deer mouse. Image by U.S. Army Medical Department.


British Columbia 01/28/13 Health officials from B.C. and Yukon are in Atlin, B.C., today looking for the source of a deadly case of Hantavirus. The rare disease is normally spread through the urine and feces from deer mice. Officials confirmed the virus was responsible for the death of Gerhard Holmok, 45, earlier this month. Holmok died suddenly Jan. 9 at the Whitehorse hospital. Doctor Ronald Chapman, the Chief Medical Health officer for northern B.C., said the Atlin death is the most northerly case of Hantavirus ever diagnosed in the province. “Up until 1995, the farthest north the virus occurred in B.C. is up to Williams Lake, so this is certainly the farthest north.” – For complete article see

Domestic Cats:

80ab05b3670e2bdcb7165060f8167dfdNational 01/29/13 by Natalie Angier – In a report that scaled up local surveys and pilot studies to national dimensions, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat. The estimated kill rates are two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, and position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes. Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and an author of the report, said the mortality figures that emerge from the new model “are shockingly high.” “When we ran the model, we WA_Fish&Wildlifedidn’t know what to expect,” said Dr. Marra, who performed the analysis with his colleague, Scott R. Loss, and Tom Will of the Fish and Wildlife Service. “We were absolutely stunned by the results.” The study appeared Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. The findings are the first serious estimate of just how much wildlife America’s vast population of free-roaming domestic cats manages to kill each year. – For complete article see

Mountain Lions:

mountainLionFace_MTfwpMontana 01/30/13 by Tristan Scott – A mountain lion caught recently in a wolf foothold trap set on the southwestern boundary of Glacier National Park was turned loose by state wildlife officials, but the National Park Service employee who discovered the animal and reported it to game wardens was caught the following day when he sprang a second trap in the same area. The seasonal employee discovered the trapped mountain lion Jan. 19 along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River just outside of the park boundary, which is defined by the high-water mark on the north side of the river. The park employee was conducting wildlife research and reported the trapped cougar to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials. Erik Wenum, an FWP wildlife specialist, responded to the scene near Harrison Creek and darted and released the mountain lion. He also issued a trapping violation to the trapper for exceeding the amount of exposed bait permitted as an attractant. According to the state’s wolf trapping regulations, no trap may be set within 30 feet of an exposed carcass or bait that is visible from above, a measure intended to minimize the number of raptors unintentionally caught in the traps. FWP Warden Capt. Lee Anderson said the park employee returned to the area with a park ranger the following day and, while attempting to show the ranger where the incident had occurred, accidentally sprung another trap, which caught the bottom of his heel. The employee, who was wearing waders, was not injured. – For complete article see

DSC_9491_mountain_lion_family_crop-1Utah 01/29/13 By Caroline Kingsley – Two pets were attacked by mountain lions early Tuesday morning in Woodland. One pet was found dead and another injured less than a mile away. The incidents are still under investigation, and information about what type of pets were attacked has not yet been released. An officer from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) responded to the report and was able to quickly track one of the mountain lions responsible for the animal’s death and euthanize it. Two more mountain lions were discovered by late morning. In all, three mountain lions were captured and euthanized: one adult female and two young mountain lions. Douglas estimates there are about six incidents in Northern Utah involving mountain lions each year. “It happens especially near people that live in areas close to the winter range where deer come down. That’s what mountain lions are following,” Douglass said. – For complete article see

Mexican Gray Wolf:

MexicanGrayWolf_AZgame&fishArizona 01/29/13 by Alicia Graef – This month, a 4-year-old Mexican gray wolf known as M1133 is getting a taste of the wild after being  released into Arizona’s Apache National Forest in the hope that he will join the Bluestem wolf pack, whose alpha male was illegally killed last year. M1133′s release marks the first time a Mexican gray wolf has been released since 2008. The species once roamed vast portions of the Southwest and Mexico, but were eradicated by the 1900s in the U.S. over conflicts with humans and livestock, while populations dwindled in Mexico. In the 1980s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approved the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, which recommended a captive breeding program and supported a goal of maintaining at least 100 wolves in their historic range. Fish and Wildlife officials hope that M1133 will pair up with the Bluestem pack’s alpha female, who has still not chosen a new mate. However, some are still concerned that even if he does, it still will not boost their small population. As of now, the number of Mexican gray wolves in the wild is estimated to be less than 60 in New Mexico and Arizona with just six breeding pairs, and recovery efforts have been an uphill battle. – For complete article see

Equine Herpes Virus:

tjrhorsehealthalert-gray-horse-stallColorado 01/30/13 Colorado agriculture officials have confirmed that a horse that was used during the National Western Stock Show in Denver has a potentially fatal virus. The 6-year-old gelding from Texas was part of a team of quarter horses that pulled a stagecoach during rodeo performances during the National Western Stock Show that ended Sunday. The infected horse is among seven horses that have been quarantined at the National Western Stock Show coliseum due to concerns about equine herpes virus, and a hold order was placed on six other horses still being tested. – See

Cat-RabiesCalifornia 01/29/13 Sonoma County: A cat that was taken to a veterinarian on Monday by its owner because it was displaying strange and aggressive behavior has tested positive for rabies. Family members are being treated for exposure to the virus and officials are evaluating neighbors for potential risk of exposure. – See

320x240Texas 01/30/13 Gregg and Harrison counties: A woman is receiving post-exposure rabies shots after being bitten by a bat Monday at Home Depot in Longview. The woman was picking up concrete blocks to load onto a cart at the time. The bat could not be located. – See


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