USGS National Wildlife Health Center

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Welcome to the National Wildlife Health Center. Our staff, along with our partners, investigate and respond to wildlife disease outbreaks using our expertise and specialized laboratories.  We investigate biological threats and develop strategies to prevent and manage emerging wildlife diseases. Our mission is to safeguard wildlife health through dynamic partnerships and exceptional science.

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Disease Investigation Services

Disease Investigation Services

Report mortality events and submit specimens.

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Explore Our Projects

Explore Our Projects

Explore our ongoing projects to learn about NWHC expertise in wildlife disease diagnostics, epidemiology, and research.

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NWHC Honolulu Field Station

NWHC Honolulu Field Station

The NWHC HFS provides support to the natural resource communities of Hawaii and the Pacific Basin in the investigation of wildlife diseases.

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News

Date published: October 26, 2018

A Unified Research Strategy for Disease Management

As wildlife diseases increase globally, an understanding of host-pathogen relationships can elucidate avenues for management and improve conservation efficacy. Amphibians are among the most threatened groups of wildlife, and disease is a major factor in global amphibian declines.

Date published: September 18, 2018

National Wildlife Health Center Newsletter September 2018

Newsletter from the National Wildlife Health Center in September 2018. Updates on avian influenza, amphibian diseases, chronic wasting disease, harmful algal blooms, vaccine development, and white-nose syndrome.

Date published: June 19, 2018

New Approach May Detect Chronic Wasting Disease Earlier, at Less Cost

A new statistical approach to disease surveillance may improve scientists’ and managers’ ability to detect chronic wasting disease earlier in white-tailed deer by targeting higher-risk animals. This approach can also provide financial and personnel savings for agencies that are required to monitor for wildlife diseases, including the National Park Service, or NPS. 

Publications

Year Published: 2018

Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines

A research priority can be defined as a knowledge gap that, if resolved, identifies the optimal course of conservation action. We (a group of geographically distributed and multidisciplinary research scientists) used tools from nominal group theory and decision analysis to collaboratively identify and prioritize information...

Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Adams, M.J.; Fisher, Robert N.; Grear, Daniel A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Smalling, Kelly; Waddle, J. Hardin; Walls, Susan C.; White, C. LeAnn
Grant, E. H. C., Adams, M. J., Fisher, R. N., Grear, D. A., Halstead, B. J., Hossack, B. R., Muths, E., Richgels, K. L. D., Russell, R. E., Smalling, K. L., Waddle, J. H., Walls, S. C., and White, C. L., 2018, Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines: Global Ecology and Conservation, v. 16, article e00441, 9 p. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2018.e00441

Year Published: 2018

Assessment of chronic low‐dose elemental and radiological exposures of biota at the Kanab North uranium mine site in the Grand Canyon watershed

High‐grade U ore deposits are in various stages of exploitation across the Grand Canyon watershed, yet the effects of U mining on ecological and cultural resources are largely unknown. We characterized the concentrations of Al, As, Bi, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, Hg, Mo, Ni, Se, Ag, Tl, Th, U, and Zn, gross alpha and beta activities, and U and Th...

Cleveland, Danielle; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Lankton, Julia S.
Cleveland, D., Hinck, J.E., and Lankton, J.S., 2018, Assessment of chronic low-dose elemental and radiological exposures of biota at the Kanab North uranium mine site in the Grand Canyon watershed: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Early View Edition

Year Published: 2018

Impact of sylvatic plague vaccine on non-target small rodents in grassland ecosystems

Oral vaccination is an emerging management strategy to reduce the prevalence of high impact infectious diseases within wild animal populations. Plague is a flea-borne zoonosis of rodents that often decimates prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies in the western USA. Recently, an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) was developed to protect prairie...

Bron, Gebbiena M.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Samuel. Michael D.; Poje, Julia E.; Lorenzsonn, Faye; Matteson, Jonathan P.; Boulerice, Jesse T.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Rocke, Tonie E.