Canada: Whirling Disease Forces Closure Of Yoho And Kootenay National Parks

Canada: Whirling Disease Forces Closure Of Yoho And Kootenay National Parks

A possible whirling disease epidemic has resulted in the recent closure of many lakes in the Canadian Rockies’ Kootenay and Yoho National Parks to the general public.

Scientists, park rangers, and naturalists are very concerned about this sad event since it puts these pristine wilderness areas’ delicate ecosystems in jeopardy. 

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What Happened At National Parks Yoho And Kootenay?

Lakes And Streams In Yoho And Kootenay National Parks Are Shut Down By Whirling Disease
Credit: CBC

Following the discovery of a possible case of whirling illness in the southeast Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, all bodies of water in Kootenay and Yoho National Parks were placed under temporary closure for the next five months. 

According to a news release from Parks Canada, this is the province’s first detection of the microscopic parasite that kills fish. 

When Is The Closure?

The temporary closure of Kootenay and Yoho National Parks has started.

Where Is The Disease Spreading?

Lakes And Streams In Yoho And Kootenay National Parks Are Shut Down By Whirling Disease
Credit: Calgary Herald

The disease is spread in the southeast Rocky Mountains of British Columbia.

How To Prevent The Disease?

To prevent future spread, the government said it is blocking the shorelines, water bodies, and tributaries of Emerald Lake, Peaceful Pond, Lone Duck Pond, and the Emerald River until March 31, 2024. 

It was previously stated that the parasite, a recognised aquatic invasive species, is almost impossible to eliminate once established. 

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Although preliminary test results revealed suspected cases of whirling disease in the Kicking Horse River, Wapta Lake, Finn Creek, Monarch Creek, and the confluence of the Emerald and Kicking Horse Rivers, Parks Canada officials say they are sampling the Kicking Horse and Kootenay rivers further. 

Lakes And Streams In Yoho And Kootenay National Parks Are Shut Down By Whirling Disease
Credit: CBC

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website, whirling illness affects several trout and salmon species and mountain whitefish. It can also result in skeletal abnormalities in younger fish. 

People can unintentionally spread the disease, even though the CFIA states there is no risk to human health.

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Source: englishtalent.edu.vn

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