Fish & Wildlife Disease

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USGS is the lead Federal agency for wildlife disease research and surveillance. Our wildlife health capabilities provide research, information, and technical assistance needed to manage wildlife through disease events. Congress and our partners rely on our science to make informed decisions about fish and wildlife disease policy, planning and management.

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Bsal a Threat to Vulnerable Amphibian Hosts

Bsal a Threat to Vulnerable Amphibian Hosts

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) in Appalachia: Using Scenario Building to Proactively Prepare for a Wildlife Disease Outbreak Caused by an Invasive Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

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USGS Response to White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

USGS Response to White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

USGS science has been a critical part of understanding, and responding to, white-nose syndrome. Learn more about the USGS response in this new fact sheet.

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Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

The USGS is focused on the development of early detection and effective response tools that promote an adaptive management approach to CWD.

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News

Date published: June 9, 2021

UPDATED Interagency Statement: USGS and Partners Continue Investigating DC Area Bird Mortality Event

If you are a private individual or entity with a wildlife morbidity and/or mortality event to report, please contact your state department of natural resources or state agency of game and fish.

Date published: April 21, 2021

White-Nose Syndrome Killed Over 90% of Three North American Bat Species

White-nose syndrome has killed over 90% of northern long-eared, little brown and tri-colored bat populations in fewer than 10 years, according to a new study published in Conservation Biology. Researchers also noted declines in Indiana bat and big brown bat populations.

Date published: November 9, 2018

Multi-Partner Workshop Highlights Science Actions for a Potential Wildlife Disease Outbreak

A new USGS Open-File Report outlines findings from a scenario building workshop on a wildlife disease, facilitated by the Department of the Interior’s Strategic Sciences Group (SSG) and led by the USGS. 

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Long-term shedding from fully convalesced individuals indicates that Pacific herring are a reservoir for viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus

Processes that allow viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus to persist in the marine environment remain enigmatic, owing largely to the presence of covert and cryptic infections in marine fishes during typical sub-epizootic periods. As such, marine host reservoirs for VHS virus have not been fully demonstrated, nor have the mechanism(s) by which...

Hershberger, Paul; Mackenzie, Ashley; Gregg, Jacob L.; Wilmot, M. D.; Powers, Rachel L.; Purcell, Maureen K.

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Year Published: 2021

Virus shedding kinetics and unconventional virulence tradeoffs

Tradeoff theory, which postulates that virulence provides both transmission costs and benefits for pathogens, has become widely adopted by the scientific community. Although theoretical literature exploring virulence-tradeoffs is vast, empirical studies validating various assumptions still remain sparse. In particular, truncation of transmission...

Wargo, Andrew R.; Kurath, Gael; Scott, Robert J.; Kerr, Benjamin

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Year Published: 2021

Differential susceptibility of Yukon River and Salish Sea stocks of Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha to ichthyophoniasis

Preliminary evidence suggests that Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha from the Yukon River may be more susceptible to Ichthyophonus sp. infections than Chinook from stocks further south. To investigate this hypothesis in a controlled environment, we experimentally challenged juvenile Chinook from the Yukon River and from...

Elliott, Diane G.; Conway, Carla M.; McKibben, Constance L.; Mackenzie, Ashley; Hart, Lucas M.; Groner, Maya; Purcell, Maureen K.; Gregg, Jacob L.; Hershberger, Paul