USGS National Wildlife Health Center

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Welcome to the National Wildlife Health Center. Our staff, jointly 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: 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. 

Date published: May 30, 2018

Simple Ways to Avoid Public Exposures to Infectious Wildlife Diseases Summarized

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other disease specialists, have published reports during the past 12 years with information about the geographic distribution of diseases, specific pathogens, disease ecology, and strategies to avoid human exposure and infection for seven zoonotic diseases.

Publications

Year Published: 2018

Population differences in susceptibility to Plasmodium relictum in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata

Domesticated Australian and Timor zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis, and T. guttata guttata, respectively) were inoculated with canary (Serinus canaria) blood containing a Hawaiian isolate of Plasmodium relictum (lineage GRW04), a hemoparasite that causes avian malaria. In two experimental trials, Timor, but not Australian zebra...

Hofmeister, Erik K.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Atkinson, Carter T.

Year Published: 2018

Mortality of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus carissima) naturally exposed to microcystin-LR

We describe a die-off of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus carissima) associated with acute intoxication with microcystin-LR in 2016 at Scofield Reservoir in Utah. High levels of this cyanotoxin in water from the reservoir and gastrointestinal content of bats supported this diagnosis.

Isidoro Ayza, Marcos; Jones, Lee C.; Dusek, Robert; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Landsberg, Jan H.; Wilson, Patrick; Graham, Stephanie
Marcos Isidoro-Ayza, Lee Jones, Robert J. Dusek, Jeffrey M. Lorch, Jan H. Landsberg, Patrick Wilson, and Stephanie Graham (2018) Mortality of Little Brown Bats (Myotis lucifugus carissima) Naturally Exposed to Microcystin-LR. Journal of Wildlife Diseases In-Press.

Year Published: 2018

Experimental infection of Tadarida brasiliensis with Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is causing significant declines in populations of North American hibernating bats, and recent western and southern expansions of the disease have placed additional species at risk. Understanding differences in species susceptibility and identifying management actions to reduce mortality of bats from WNS are top research...

Verant, Michelle; Meteyer, Carol U.; Stading, Benjamin; Blehert, David S.
Verant ML, Meteyer CU, Stading B, Blehert DS. 2018. Experimental infection of Tadarida brasiliensis with Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome. mSphere 3:e00250-18. https://doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00250-18