Fish & Wildlife Disease


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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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. 

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.


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Year Published: 2020

Assessing the risks posed by SARS-CoV-2 in and via North American bats—Decision framing and rapid risk assessment

The novel β-coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, may pose a threat to North American bat populations if bats are exposed to the virus through interaction with humans, if the virus can subsequently infect bats and be transmitted among them, and if the virus causes morbidity or mortality in bats. Further, if SARS-CoV-2 became established in bat populations, it...

Runge, Michael C.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Coleman, Jeremy T. H.; Reichard, Jonathan D.; Gibbs, Samantha E. J.; Cryan, Paul M.; Olival, Kevin J.; Walsh, Daniel P.; Blehert, David S.; Hopkins, M. Camille; Sleeman, Jonathan M.
Runge, M.C., Grant, E.H.C., Coleman, J.T.H., Reichard, J.D., Gibbs, S.E.J., Cryan, P.M., Olival, K.J., Walsh, D.P., Blehert, D.S., Hopkins, M.C., and Sleeman, J.M., 2020, Assessing the risks posed by SARS-CoV-2 in and via North American bats—Decision framing and rapid risk assessment: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1060, 43 p.,

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Year Published: 2020

Rabies outbreak in captive big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) used in white-nose syndrome vaccine trial

An outbreak of rabies occurred in a captive colony of wild-caught big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus). Five of 27 bats exhibited signs of rabies virus infection 22–51 d after capture or 18–22 d after contact with the index case. Rabid bats showed weight loss, aggression, increased vocalization, hypersalivation, and refusal of food. Antigenic typing...

Abbott, Rachel C.; Saindon, L.G.; Falendysz, Elizabeth; Greenberg, Lauren; Orciari, L.A.; Satheshkumar, Panayampalli Subbian; Rocke, Tonie E.

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Year Published: 2019

Avian influenza virus prevalence in marine birds is dependent on ocean temperatures

Waterfowl and shorebirds are the primary hosts of influenza A virus (IAV), however, in most surveillance efforts, large populations of birds are not routinely examined; specifically marine ducks and other birds that reside predominately on or near the ocean. We conducted a long-term study sampling sea ducks and gulls in coastal Maine for IAV and...

Hall, Jeffrey S.; Dusek, Robert J.; Nashold, Sean; TeSlaa, Joshua L.; Allen, Bradford R.; Grear, Daniel A.