Wildlife Diseases and Agriculture

Avian Influenza

Since 2006, USGS has partnered with agencies around the world to monitor the spread of highly pathogenic (HPAI) avian influenza. In 2014, USGS scientists detected three HPAI viruses for the first time in wild birds in North America: H5N2, H5N8, and a recombinant H5N1. 



List of USGS publications related to avian influenza.

See the list

Visualizing Avian Influenza

Visualizing Avian Influenza

Visual representations of model data can be effective in helping to discover how the spread of the virus is influenced by environmental and human factors.

See the maps
USGS Avian Influenza Research Capabilities

In response to HPAI detections, our scientists are working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other Federal and state agency partners. Scientists are focusing efforts on HPAI surveillance, genomics, mechanisms of disease spread in wildlife and the environment, and the implications of avian ecology on HPAI disease spread.

Screen shot of the USGS avian influenza interactive web application

Avian Influenza Transmission Risk Model Web Application.


Avian Influenza Transmission Risk Model Web Application

The Avian Influenza Transmission Risk Model web application depicts the intricate connections between 16 layers of administrative, environmental, and economic data in an application that runs inside a web browser. A zoomable, interactive map has a sidebar showing the legend, where layers can be turned on and off. The source for each layer is provided via hover text. Within the map, hovering over each point provides information about the data shown.


Frequently Asked Questions about Avian Influenza 

What is Avian Influenza?

What are the different types of avian influenza?

What is the difference between low pathogenic and highly pathogenic avian influenza?

What is the meaning of the numbers next to the “H” and “N” in avian influenza designations?

Can people get avian influenza?

How do scientists study avian influenza in wild birds?

Can wild birds spread avian influenza to domestic poultry?

How is avian influenza spread?


M. Camille Hopkins, DVM, MS, PhD

Wildlife Disease Specialist
Phone: 703-648-4019