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National Wildlife Health Center co-sponsors Climate Change and Wildlife Health Workshop

February 27, 2020

On January 7-9, 2020, the USGS Northeast Climate Adaption Science Center and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center sponsored a Climate Change and Wildlife Health workshop in Madison, Wisconsin for Federal, State, and Tribal wildlife managers and policy makers, university and wildlife organization scientists and leaders.

Presentations on climate change, climatology, and wildlife species responses to climate change were followed by group discussions to identify knowledge gaps and intervention strategies that may enable wildlife to adapt to the effects of climate change. Scientific gaps identified by these groups included the need to define and develop metrics to measure wildlife population health. The need to record wildlife disease events, as well as systematically collect long-term data on wildlife health, and share this data electronically with wildlife health partners was also expressed as an important area for continued development. Lastly, the integration of wildlife disease data with long-term environmental data sets was proposed as a means for assessing changes in disease risk posed by changing climates. 

The 59 workshop participants included scientists from the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission; the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society; the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative; Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin Departments of Fish and Game or Natural Resources; the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study; Universities including Calgary, Michigan State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, South Florida, and Wisconsin; and organizations including the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Wildlife Disease Association.

More about this project is available at

Workshop attendees gathered together for picture.
Participants at the Climate Change Workshop held January 7-9, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Public domain.)


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