dailymail - Common frog populations have seen numbers tumble by more than 80 per cent in the face of a virus spreading through the UK, scientists warned today.
Populations infected with the disease Ranavirus, which is thought to be relatively new to the UK, suffered an average 81 per cent decrease in adult frogs over a 12-year period.
Using data collected from the public by the frog mortality project and charity Froglife, the research from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) showed long-term declines in numbers in the face of the virus.
The study also found sudden mass die-offs of frogs, which the disease is known to cause.
But the research, which was published in the ZSL journal Animal Conservation, found that while some populations of frogs suffered from infection year-on-year, others bounced back from mass mortality events.
The research suggests some frogs may be immune to infection by the virus, the scientists said.
Dr Amber Teacher, lead author of the study from ZSL, said: 'Our findings show that Ranavirus not only causes one-off mass mortality events, but it is also responsible for long-term population declines.
'We need to understand more about this virus if we are to minimise the serious threat that it poses to our native amphibians.'
The origins of non-native disease, which causes a range of symptoms in common frogs including skin ulceration and haemorrhaging of internal organs, are unknown but is thought to be relatively new to the UK and is closely related to viruses found in North American amphibians.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the disease was associated with the south-east of England but in recent years new pockets of virus have turned up in Lancashire, Yorkshire and along the south coast.
The study's co-author Dr Trent Garner, from ZSL, said: 'It is very difficult to treat wildlife diseases and so the mystery that we desperately need to solve is how the disease spreads.
'Understanding more about the ecology of the disease will allow us to offer advice to the public on how to limit the spread of infection, which could also prevent the movement of other frog diseases in the future.'
Lucy Benyon, of Froglife, said the discovery of populations which seemed to have some form of immunity to the virus was good news.
She said: 'The discovery of persistent populations in the face of disease emergence is very encouraging and offers hope for the long-term future of this species.
'However, we still need regular information from the public on what is happening in their ponds to continue this essential research.'
Case Number: 25701
Log Number: US-10062010-0002
Submitted Date: 2010-10-06 04:06 GMT
Event Date: 2006-05-27 19:23 GMT
Region: New Jersey
Distance: 100 feet or less
Vallee Index: CE1
I honestly don't know where to begin here. Putting this up is a little scary for me, because all this stuff really happened. But it's been close to 5 years, I'm getting older and it's time to come forward with my story. Let me also say I'd much rather talk to someone about this than type it all out, but I'll do my best. On Saturday May 27th 2006 my girlfriend was away for the day, and I had our apartment to myself. I spent some time playing a new videogame, and had a long phone conversation with my mom. It was probably the deepest conversation we ever had, and she told me a story about my birth. I knew we were both sick when I was born and that she had to have an emergency c section, but apparantly her heart stopped for 45 seconds while under. When she woke up to my father holding a newborn me, all she could do was tell him about the dream she had. She was aboard a flying saucer with a higher power, or jesus, looking for others. But for some reason no one else was ready, or able to board with them. This kinda blew me away, she hesitated my whole life to tell me this because of my profound intrest in the subject. OK so we finish up the conversation, it's 7:20 PM and I try to go back to my new game. But instead I put down the controller, got up and looked out the window of my 7th floor apt. and see this white egg shaped god-knows-what right out there. It was about the size of a minivan, maby a small bus and it was so close I could have hit it with a rock. It immediately began moving away very quickly and I noticed two black dots, one on either side of it.
They started swirling around the egg and would 'splash' in and out of it, causing it to shimmer black and white so fast it looked silver. It looked kinda like a molecule. OK now here's where it gets tough.... I only saw it up close for maby 10 seconds, it flew away pretty fast. But I kept my eye on it and could still see it as a black speck against the clear sky for a good 2 mins. Then it started blinking out, and i said outloud "No! Come back" and waved it back and this black speck zapped me. It felt like I jumped into ice water and had my brain ripped in half. The sky turned a bright purple, I wanna say ultra-violet and against it were hundreds of different sized transparant white circles, or 'orbs'. Like a polka-dot sky. It brought me to my knees and I urinated myself. OK here's the part that really scares me, I wouldn't bother coming forward if it weren't for this. When i finally managed to shake it off I heard what sounded like chaos outside- all the car alarms in the whole parking lot, several sirens and what sounded like a fire engine, all blaring loudly for 30 maby 45 seconds. The clock on my cable box said 7:23.
First thing I did was try to call my mom back but the phone was dead for 10 minutes or so. At her advice about an hour later I called the local fire dept. inquiring about the alarms but got some BS answer- a "system alarm test". Also I found some neighbors who heard everything at that precise time, but no one saw anything. I had several other related paranormal experiences that summer, but I'm done typing about this. As i re-read this I realise there's several details I'm leaving out, but I'll always remember that day quite well. I feel MUFON is a trusted orginization so please feel free to contact me if you'd like to know more. Thank You.
petethomasoutdoors - The 85-foot pregnant blue whale that washed ashore near her fetus during the weekend at Bean Hollow State Beach south of San Francisco had suffered "internal injuries consistent with a ship strike," said Joe Cordaro, a biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
A necropsy team discovered signs of hemorrhaging in the skeletal muscle and along the right lateral abdomen, and some fractured vertebrae. That there had been hemorrhaging implies that the whale was alive when it was struck.
This brings to three the number of blue whales known to have been hit by vessels off California this year. In August a blue whale washed ashore at San Miguel Island with broken bones and other wounds consistent with a ship strike.
Earlier in the summer, the captain of a Monterey commercial whale-watching boat reported hitting a blue whale that he said had surfaced in front of the boat. The captain said he saw no evidence that the whale had been injured.
About 2,000 blue whales utilize California waters each summer. They're part of a worldwide population of about 10,000. Blue whales are an endangered species.
AP - Lead poisoning has killed more than 400 children under five in the past six months in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara, an international humanitarian group said Tuesday.
"Based on record of fatalities from lead poisoning, more than 400 children have died in the last six months," said El-Shafii Muhammad Ahmad, project director for Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF).
"But we in MSF believe the figure is much more than that," he told AFP on the phone from Zamfara state.
A lead poisoning epidemic linked to illegal gold mining hit the predominantly Muslim state at the start of the year.
The intoxications were caused by the illegal extraction of ore by villagers, who would transport crushed rock home from the mines to extract the gold.
The soil containing lead deposits would then be haphazardly disposed of, exposing children to inhalation or ingestion.
Ahmad said reports of 400 deaths "is an underestimation because many lead-related deaths are never reported and in many cases, these communities attribute them to other factors or deny them altogether."
He said local communities mainly concealed or denied the fatalities and illnesses from lead poisoning for fear that authorities will ban their mining activities, he added.
Illicit gold mining is more lucrative than agriculture for the impoverished farmers.
A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report after a two-week study by a four-man team of experts said that lead poisoning was spreading in mining communities in northwestern Zamfara.
The report was released late Monday.
The study focussed on ground water pollution in the contaminated areas of the state.
Two weeks ago, the UN's Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in Geneva that more than 200 children were thought to have died in Nigeria out of an estimated 18,000 people affected by lead poisoning from the illicit gold mining.
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