UV light might fight white-nose syndrome
The fungus that causes deadly white-nose syndrome in bats can’t repair damage from ultraviolet light, prompting researchers to consider using it as a tool to fight the fungus.
“Generally, the best way to look at it is potentially another tool that could be used in the future to help bats with white nose syndrome,” said Jonathan Palmer, a research botanist at the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and lead author of the study published in Nature Communications.
The team first looked at what makes the fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, a pathogen, since not all fungi are. When they compared the genomics of the fungus to six other nonpathogenic fungi, they found many differences, but one in particular turned out to be a possible Achilles’ heel. The fungus was missing an enzyme involved in repairing DNA damage — specifically, damage caused by UV light.
For more information: http://wildlife.org/uv-light-might-fight-white-nose-syndrome/
Toxic bait field trials on feral swine to begin in January
USDA’s Wildlife Services is set to conduct sodium nitrite toxic bait field trials on free-roaming feral swine in Texas and Alabama this month after its National Wildlife Research Center received an experimental use permit from the Environmental Protection Agency in November.
NWRC researchers Drs. Kurt VerCauteren and Nathan Snow are working closely with WS operations in the two states to identify landowners willing to participate in the study. Three to nine feral swine sounders in each state will be targeted.
The permit is the result of years of collaborative research by WS and multiple private, state, federal and international partners. These field trials will help determine the effectiveness of the sodium nitrite toxic bait for removing feral swine sounders in natural settings, as well as any potential impacts to non-target wildlife.
For more information: http://wildlife.org/toxic-bait-field-trials-on-feral-swine-to-begin-in-january/
Political instability main factor in waterbird conservation
Waterbird species across the globe seem to be declining mostly from political instability and weak governance, according to new research.
In a study published in Nature, a research team compiled data on wetland habitats covering about 1.3 billion hectares around the world from the Wetlands International database and the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count.
“The biggest reason for us to focus on waterbirds was the special coverage of this data,” said lead author Tatsuya Amano, a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology and Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. “We had the advantage of so many sites in these datasets, including many areas like Africa and western and central Asia where normally there’s very little information about biodiversity change.”
These waterbirds cover a wide range of species, from ducks and geese to flamingoes and pelicans.
For more information: http://wildlife.org/political-instability-main-factor-in-waterbird-conservation/
First Time Invasive Pest Found in Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that invasive pest emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found and confirmed for the first time in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties. DEC captured the insects in monitoring traps at the two locations.
For more information: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/111380.html
Wildlife Society Publishes Fact Sheet on the Problem of Feral Cats