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Volume 15, Number 6—June 2009

Dispatch

Phocine Distemper Virus in Northern Sea Otters in the Pacific Ocean, Alaska, USA

Tracey GoldsteinComments to Author , Jonna A.K. Mazet, Verena A. Gill, Angela M. Doroff, Kathy A. Burek, and John A. Hammond1
Author affiliations: University of California, Davis, California, USA (T. Goldstein, J.A.K. Mazet); US Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska, USA (V.A. Gill, A.M. Doroff); Alaska Veterinary Pathology Services, Eagle River, Alaska, USA (K.A. Burek); Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA (J.A. Hammond)

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Figure 1

Distribution of Arctic and sub-Arctic pinnipeds in relation to Arctic ice coverage representing a unique area where distribution ranges of multiple seal species overlap (7,8). A) North Pacific Ocean region showing the range of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) in Alaska, its population stock delineations, and sample collection locations for the study. 1, Kachemak Bay; 2, Kodiak Archipelago; 3, South Alaska Peninsula; 4, Fox Island; seal species ranges overlap. This overlap indicate

Figure 1. Distribution of Arctic and sub-Arctic pinnipeds in relation to Arctic ice coverage representing a unique area where distribution ranges of multiple seal species overlap (7,8). A) North Pacific Ocean region showing the range of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) in Alaska, its population stock delineations, and sample collection locations for the study. 1, Kachemak Bay; 2, Kodiak Archipelago; 3, South Alaska Peninsula; 4, Fox Island; seal species ranges overlap. This overlap indicates potential for phocine distemper virus disease transmission among Arctic and sub-Arctic pinniped species in this highly productive region. B) Circumpolar Arctic region showing species overlap among Arctic pinnipeds and the potential for disease transmission from the Atlantic Ocean through the Arctic Ocean to Alaska (outlined) by migrating seal species. The black areas indicate ranges of Atlantic harbor and gray seals; the areas exclusive to gray seal are bordered with a broken line. The boxed region corresponds to the Arctic region containing sea otter populations shown in panel A.

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1Current affiliation: Institute for Animal Health, Newbury, UK.

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