first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Diseases, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Green, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Mammals, Research, Ungulates, Wildlife, Zoonotic Diseases Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Researchers say they believe they have identified the potential cause of a foot disease that affected 24 huemul deer in Chile’s Bernardo O’Higgins National Park between 2005 and 2010.Preliminary results from tests on tissue samples taken from an infected fawn suggest that a parapoxvirus, a group of viruses that commonly infect and cause lesions in livestock, could have been the main cause of the foot disease.If the pox virus is indeed the disease agent, then it’s an additional threat to the endangered species because these viruses are highly contagious, researchers say.The study’s authors say they suspect the parapoxvirus may have come from cattle that was illegally introduced in the national park in 1991. Between 2005 and 2010, 24 huemul deer in Chile’s Bernardo O’Higgins National Park developed a mysterious foot disease. Their hooves swelled, they limped and appeared to be in pain. In some cases, the deer became too incapacitated to move and eventually died. Researchers are now a step closer to finding out what may have caused this outbreak: it could have been a type of pox virus, they report in a new study published in PLOS ONE.Arriving at this likely disease agent has taken nearly a decade. This is partly because Bernardo O’Higgins National Park (BONP), Chile’s largest protected area, is hard to get to and monitor. It’s located in a remote part of the country, one broken up by a network of fjords and inlets, and includes numerous glaciers and part of the southern Patagonian continental ice cap that runs between Chile and Argentina. Accessible only by a boat ride of several days, the park’s remote location has protective value: Bernardo O’Higgins remains one of the last strongholds for the endangered huemul, or South Andean, deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) in the world. But the isolation of the park also makes conservation difficult.Huemul deer are an endangered species. Image by Alejandro Vila/Wildlife Conservation Society.Park rangers detected the first case of an infected deer there in 2005. One of the adult females they had been regularly monitoring was showing signs of foot lesions and swelling that caused her to limp painfully. Four days after they first spotted the problem, the rangers found the deer dead in a lagoon, with numerous footprints of culpeo, or Andean foxes (Pseudalopex culpaeus), in the surrounding mud. The deer had probably been chased by the foxes, the rangers thought, and unable to move quickly because of worsening health, she had become easy prey.“The rangers actually carried her to the field station and carried out the first necropsy,” Marcela Uhart, a wildlife veterinarian with the University of California, Davis, and co-author of the study, told Mongabay. “I was on the roof of my house with a satellite phone, working through the necropsy with them, telling them ‘OK now cut through this, then cut through that.’ It was very emotional and difficult for them. These were animals that they’d grown attached to, but the rangers understood the value of collecting those samples and preserving them the best way possible.”Over the next five years, the rangers recorded a total of 24 deer with the foot disease. Around 40 percent of these deer died, mostly because the disease destroys the structure of their foot and makes it hard for them to walk or run, Uhart said. “The disease has a high fatality rate but it was mostly related to the animals not being able to move anymore and protect themselves from being attacked by predators or even eat or drink.”An adult female huemul with the foot disease. Image by Jose Paredes / CONAF.Collecting samples from all the infected deer, however, proved to be a massive challenge in the harsh landscape. In many cases, the rangers followed the animals over several days, Uhart said, only to lose them and not find their bodies or remains again. The rangers did manage to collect samples from a few individuals, but a combination of factors, including issues with preservation of the samples in Chile, meant that samples from only one fawn were good enough to be sent to labs in the United States for further analysis. There, pathologists and molecular biologists associated with the Wildlife Conservation Society ran a wide range of tests on the samples over several years to finally find the potential cause of the foot disease: a parapoxvirus, a group of viruses that commonly infect and cause lesions in livestock.“The biggest challenge we had was finding disease tests that were sensitive enough to pick DNA of the pathogens without the samples being in ideal condition,” Uhart said. “For virology, for example, the samples we would have to be preserved frozen. That’s not an option in this location. So we have to do what we can with samples fixed in formalin, which actually kills the virus, so then if you want to culture it to know what it is exactly, you can’t. It makes things very complicated.”Despite the hurdles, the researchers say they think the virus is the mostly likely disease agent. “We call it the potential cause because we identified it in only one animal, so we cannot say that this was the factor in all cases, but all cases were very similar,” Uhart said.To know for sure, the researchers would have to find the virus in more animals. “In theory you’ll have to infect an animal with this virus and see if this disease develops — that would be the only way to confirm that this is the cause,” Uhart said. “But at least finding it in more animals that are affected would be the first suggestion that there is a role of the virus in all these cases.”A male huemul fawn with the foot disease. Image by Jose Paredes / CONAF.The researchers’ goal now is to follow up to see if there are new cases and get samples as quickly as possible to search for the virus. But while there have been new anecdotal records of this disease in the huemul deer population in the park, these records haven’t been confirmed yet.“This preliminary study is of high value, but of course it requires more understanding,” Christian Saucedo, a veterinarian and conservation director of the nonprofit Conservacion Patagonica, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay. “The information that is shared in this study is of a couple years ago. What we need in the near future is a picture of current status of the deer population and the disease in that population.”As to where the parapoxvirus came from, the study’s authors have a suspicion: their analysis showed that the virus DNA in the sample was closely related to livestock viruses. The researchers say that cattle that were illegally introduced in the Huemules Valley of Bernardo O’Higgins National Park in 1991, which then grew in number, could have played a role in the disease outbreak. Although most cattle were removed by 2004, some escaped into surrounding valleys and may still be around. Of the 24 affected deer, 18 were found in the Huemules Valley, while the remaining deer were found in the more isolated Bernardo and Katraska Valleys, where rangers found six sick deer between 2008 and 2010.“The cattle were removed from the area before the cases showed up, but not all cattle were removed,” Uhart said. “So while we can’t say that there’s an exact overlap in time, the genetic identity of the virus suggests that it is a virus that is very closely related to livestock viruses.”This, Saucedo added, is further evidence that shows that the huemul deer population isn’t compatible with livestock in the same areas. “This finding provides additional support to the decision makers to be more strong on the policies to control the livestock in protected areas,” he said.Between 2005 and 2010, 24 huemul deer were recorded with foot disease. Image by Alejandro Vila/Wildlife Conservation Society.If the pox virus is indeed the cause of the foot disease in the huemul deer, then it could pose a considerable threat to the species. This is because pox viruses are highly contagious, and close contact between deer, such as mother and fawn, could result in the disease spreading easily, Uhart said. Moreover, the viruses that are shed into the environment, such as from scabs from the infected feet that are in close contact with the soil, water or plants, can also infect other individuals.“If the environment is infected then you have a huge problem because no matter what you do with the animal, for example if you remove cattle, the environment is already infectious and it’s sustaining the infection on its own, which could be the case here [but] we don’t know,” Uhart said.Saucedo added that while the study’s results are not conclusive, the virus does seem like one of the most probable causes of the disease for now.“The remoteness of the area in general makes logistics and access to samples in good condition a real challenge,” he said. “So all the information that is possible to produce is valuable especially since the lack of information is a limitation for conservation.”Uhart agreed that the disease needs further investigation. But for an endangered species like the huemul deer that’s already suffered severe declines in the past due to habitat loss and poaching, any disease cannot be taken lightly, she said. “And because of that we want to highlight that there is a lot to gain from collaboration, especially with government agencies, academia, NGOs, so that in the future we don’t have so many challenges to identify what’s happening, and we can together contribute to the solutions.”Citation:Vila, A. R., Briceño, C., McAloose, D., Seimon, T. A., Armién, A. G., Mauldin, E. A., … & Paredes, J. (2019). Putative parapoxvirus-associated foot disease in the endangered huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Chile. PLOS ONE, 14(4), e0213667.center_img Article published by Shreya Dasguptalast_img

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