Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

Disease

Fish and wildlife are at risk to diseases, just like humans. These may come by way of microbes, parasites, toxins, and other biological and physical agents. USGS is the lead Federal agency for wildlife disease surveillance to support natural resource management and Federal biosecurity efforts. This line of work includes research on the ecology of fish and wildlife diseases and the development of surveillance, control, and risk-assessment tools. Investigations of wildlife mortality events support Federal, State and tribal wildlife management agencies. Field and laboratory studies along with epidemiological models assess the effects of pathogens on freshwater, marine and terrestrial wildlife populations. This focal area has recently included the launch of online disease surveillance and risk assessment tools, molecular analyses to understand the global spread of pathogens, immunology studies to identify the underlying factors associated with wildlife disease resistance and susceptibility, and the development of wildlife vaccines.
Filter Total Items: 8
Date published: April 4, 2019
Status: Active

Health Effects and Behavioral Response of Florida Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to Persistent Algal Bloom and Associated Loss of Seagrass Resources in Brevard County, Florida

USGS researchers are working with partners to assess the health and foraging behavior of Florida manatees in the northern Indian River Lagoon and Banana River, areas that have experienced declining seagrasses due to an extended phytoplankton bloom. 

Date published: April 4, 2019
Status: Active

Survey and Assessment of Live Food Markets as an Invasion Pathway

Live food markets may be a source of the increasing number of non-native wild invertebrate and fish species, like Asian swamp eels and snakeheads. USGS is surveying such markets around the United States to identify and document species that might be of concern if released live into the wild to assess if the live food market is a possible invasion pathway. 

Contacts: Leo Nico, Ph.D.
Date published: April 30, 2016

Amphibian Occupancy Modeling in the South-Central Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) Region

In response to growing public concerns about this loss of biodiversity, the U.S. Congress funded the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI), a national program coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: April 17, 2016
Status: Active

Coral Bleaching and Disease: Effects on Threatened Corals and Reefs

Severe coral bleaching in 2005, followed by a disease outbreak, resulted in severe reef degradation in the US Virgin Islands; the amount of living coral cover at long-term monitoring sites decreased an average of 60%. With climate change, high seawater temperatures are expected to lead to more frequent bleaching episodes and possibly more disease outbreaks. 

Date published: April 15, 2016

NRDA: Deepwater ROV Sampling to Assess Potential Impacts to Hardbottom Coral Communities and Associates from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The MC252 oil spill introduced hydrocarbons, dispersants, and drilling muds into the Gulf of Mexico, potentially adversely affecting the seafloor environment surrounding the spill site. 

Date published: March 10, 2016
Status: Active

Contaminants Assessments in the Coral Reefs of the Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument

Coral reefs around the world are exposed to a number of environmental contaminants. USGS researchers investigate the issue of contamination on the reefs around the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Date published: March 1, 2016

Prevalence Rates of Snake Fungal Disease and its Population-Level Impacts in a Snake Assemblage in Southwest Louisiana

In the last twenty years, an extraordinary number of fungal and fungal-like diseases have caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever observed in wild species.

Contacts: Hardin Waddle, Ph.D., Brad M Glorioso, Dr. Jeffrey M. Lorch
Date published: April 17, 2015

Evaluating the Prevalence of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in the Southeastern U.S.: Any Evidence of Disease-Related Population Declines?

Pathogens and infectious disease play a role in some recent species extinctions and are likely to impact biodiversity in the future. Environmental DNA - eDNA - is coupled with traditional amphibian sampling methods to determine the distribution and prevalence of the amphibian chytrid fungus, also known as Bd, in the southeastern US.