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1 January 2000 Desert Bighorn Sheep Mortality Due to Presumptive Type C Botulism in California
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Abstract

During a routine telemetry flight of the Mojave Desert (California, USA) in August 1995, mortality signals were detected from two of 12 radio-collared female desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in the vicinity of Old Dad Peak in San Bernardino County (California). A series of field investigations determined that at least 45 bighorn sheep had died near two artificial water catchments (guzzlers), including 13 bighorn sheep which had presumably drowned in a guzzler tank. Samples from water contaminated by decomposing bighorn sheep carcasses and hemolyzed blood from a fresh bighorn sheep carcass were tested for the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, strychnine, blue-green algae, Clostridium botulinum toxin, ethylene glycol, nitrates, nitrites, sodium, and salts. Mouse bioassay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detected type C botulinum toxin in the hemolyzed blood and in fly larvae and pupae. This, coupled with negative results from other analyses, led us to conclude that type C botulinum poisoning was most likely responsible for the mortality of bighorn sheep outside the guzzler tank.

Swift, Wehausen, Ernest, Singer, Pauli, Kinde, Rocke, and Bleich: Desert Bighorn Sheep Mortality Due to Presumptive Type C Botulism in California
Pamela K. Swift, John D. Wehausen, Holly B. Ernest, Randall S. Singer, Andrew M. Pauli, Hailu Kinde, Tonie E. Rocke, and Vernon C. Bleich "Desert Bighorn Sheep Mortality Due to Presumptive Type C Botulism in California," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 36(1), 184-189, (1 January 2000). https://doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-36.1.184
Received: 16 March 1998; Published: 1 January 2000
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