Virus confirmed as cause of dolphin deaths

Apr 26, 2013

University of Adelaide veterinary pathologists have confirmed that a marine virus not previously reported in South Australia has been found in dead dolphins found washed up on the state's beaches.

Veterinary pathologist Dr Lucy Woolford, working within Roseworthy Campus' new Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, said they have identified dolphin and systemic as the cause of the recent death of two juvenile dolphins.

Working with the Australian Research and Rescue Operation (AMWRRO), Dr Woolford has been investigating the deaths which have caused community concern. Over recent weeks 25 deceased juvenile dolphins have been found.

"This is the first report of dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) in South Australia," says Dr Woolford.

"They have emerged as potent pathogens marine mammals and this does raise some concern that more animals will be affected within South Australia in coming months.

"We don't know how big an impact it will have on the local dolphin population, whether it will be sporadic cases or become more widespread."

Dr Woolford conducted post-mortems on the dolphins with the help of AMWRRO and assistance from SA, and the pathology results have now been confirmed.

DMV has been previously implicated in the death of juvenile dolphins in Queensland, northern NSW and Western Australia and, overseas, the virus has been thought to be the cause of die-offs of whales and dolphins.

The results of these findings have been provided to the recent task force set up by the State Government.

Explore further: The influence of the Isthmus of Panama in the evolution of freshwater shrimps in America

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Violent dolphin deaths a mystery for scientists

Nov 19, 2012

(AP)—Dolphins are washing ashore along the northern Gulf Coast with bullet wounds, missing jaws and hacked off fins and federal officials are looking into the mysterious deaths.

Dolphin population at risk in Britain

May 16, 2007

A report from the Wildlife Trusts and an animal charity has found that commercial fishing in Britain is placing the regional dolphin population at risk.

Recommended for you

Dogs hear our words and how we say them

10 hours ago

When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said—those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences—but also to other features of that speech—the ...

Amazonian shrimps: An underwater world still unknown

11 hours ago

A study reveals how little we know about the Amazonian diversity. Aiming to resolve a scientific debate about the validity of two species of freshwater shrimp described in the first half of the last century, ...

Factors that drive sexual traits

12 hours ago

Many male animals have multiple displays and behaviours to attract females; and often the larger or greater the better.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.