AWI Quarterly » 2009 Spring

This sea otter in the Prince William Sound of Alaska may be identified and studied from a distance, avoiding stress and injury to the animal thanks to a photographic computer system called the Sea Otter Nose Matching Program, or SONMaP.
A snowstorm was in full force one wintry day last December when filmmaker Donny Moss decided to film the carriage horse drivers picking up tourists outside Manhattan’s world-famous Plaza Hotel - a tradition more than 70 years old.
Disturbing evidence of a potential epidemic has been published in a study by University of Iowa College of Public Health researcher Tara Smith et al this January. The study was the first in the country to document animal-to-human transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic-resistant form of a common bacterium that causes deadly infections, though such research has previously been conducted in Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.
War and pestilence ride together and there is no better place than an army camp full of recruits, stressed and far from home, for an epidemic to begin.
Just as some people fail to recognize their responsibility to their dogs and cats, so too is the case with horses, many of whom are abandoned by their owners each year.
Sylvie Cloutier, Ph.D., and Ruth C. Newberry, Ph.D., present playful handling as social enrichment for laboratory rats When animals are used in research,there is seldom, if ever, a focus on affectionate or playful handling. However, based on what has already been proven about rats and their response to positive caregiver contact, we at the Washington State University Center for the Study for Animal Well-Being set out to explore management and husbandry factors in the laboratory that improve the welfare of the rats being studied and the outcome of the research.
Researchers from the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel recently put the notion that fish only have a three-second memory span to the test.
Rising acidity levels in seawater, resulting from the ocean absorbing increasing amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide, are causing clownfish some serious problems.
Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uncovered a correlation earlier this year between the interaction of the toxins DDT and domoic acid and the occurrence of epileptic seizures in California sea lions at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Thanks to a new sedation delivery system, more endangered North Atlantic right whales may be saved from a slow, painful death as a result of entanglement in fishing gear, Science Daily reported in March.
Recognition of individual animals enables detailed studies of movement patterns, foraging, life histories and survival. It is also important for understanding the ecology and behavior of species.
Twenty years ago, the single-hulled Exxon Valdez tanker collided with the Bligh Reef in Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine and ecologically significant Prince William Sound. The massive spill—caused by human error and lack of oversight—ruined one of America's most treasured natural areas and caused the deaths of millions of animals, including more than 3,000 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250,000 murres, 14 orcas, and countless fish and benthic invertebrates. Some species are still unrecovered today, and the environment remains blanketed in oil.
There I stood upon a steep hillside in the lush and wild heart of Idaho, using all fours to steady myself, though not nearly as deftly as my canine co-worker, Wicket.