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Biological Threats and Invasive Species Research Program

The Biological Threats Research Program delivers science to protect public safety, property, and ecosystems from invasive plants and animals and infectious fish and wildlife diseases that pose significant ecologic and economic threats to the resources of the United States.

News

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New USGS Study Offers Roadmap to the Economics of Chronic Wasting Disease

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments combine science and technology to track biological threats in US waters

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COVID-19 virus can infect Mexican free-tailed bats

Publications

The effects of cheatgrass invasion on US Great Basin carbon storage depend on interactions between plant community composition, precipitation seasonality, and soil climate regime

Annual-grass invasions are transforming desert ecosystems in ways that affect ecosystem carbon (C) balance, but previous studies do not agree on the pattern, magnitude and direction of changes. A recent meta-analysis of 41 articles and 386 sites concludes that invasion by annual grasses such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L) reduces C in biomass across the Great Basin (Nagy et al., 2021). Reanalys

Social effects of rabies infection in male vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus)

Rabies virus (RABV) transmitted by the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) poses a threat to agricultural development and public health throughout the Neotropics. The ecology and evolution of rabies host-pathogen dynamics are influenced by two infection-induced behavioral changes. RABV-infected hosts often exhibit increased aggression which facilitates transmission, and rabies also leads to red

A recombinant rabies vaccine that prevents viral shedding in rabid common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus)

Vampire bat transmitted rabies (VBR) is a continuing burden to public health and agricultural sectors in Latin America, despite decades-long efforts to control the disease by culling bat populations. Culling has been shown to disperse bats, leading to an increased spread of rabies. Thus, non-lethal strategies to control VBR, such as vaccination, are desired. Here, we evaluated the safety and effic

Science

Expanding Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in 30 US states and four Canadian provinces in free-ranging cervids and/or commercial captive cervid facilities. CWD has been detected in free-ranging cervids in 29 states and three provinces and in captive cervid facilities in 18 states and three provinces.
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Expanding Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in 30 US states and four Canadian provinces in free-ranging cervids and/or commercial captive cervid facilities. CWD has been detected in free-ranging cervids in 29 states and three provinces and in captive cervid facilities in 18 states and three provinces.
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Distribution of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in North America, 2021/2022

The first 2021/2022 detection of Eurasian strain (EA) highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in North America occurred in December 2021 in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Subsequently, HPAI EA H5 and EA H5N1 viruses have been confirmed in wild birds, backyard flocks, commercial poultry facilities, and wild mammals in both Canada and the United States. This HPAI distribution map will be...
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Distribution of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in North America, 2021/2022

The first 2021/2022 detection of Eurasian strain (EA) highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in North America occurred in December 2021 in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Subsequently, HPAI EA H5 and EA H5N1 viruses have been confirmed in wild birds, backyard flocks, commercial poultry facilities, and wild mammals in both Canada and the United States. This HPAI distribution map will be...
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Epidemiological Services

Professionals at the NWHC include wildlife biologists, veterinarians, statisticians, epidemiologists, and informatics specialists. This multidisciplinary group conducts investigations and disease ecology studies of emerging and recurring priority wildlife diseases, maintains and analyzes comprehensive information on wildlife disease events, and provides response and management consultation and...
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Epidemiological Services

Professionals at the NWHC include wildlife biologists, veterinarians, statisticians, epidemiologists, and informatics specialists. This multidisciplinary group conducts investigations and disease ecology studies of emerging and recurring priority wildlife diseases, maintains and analyzes comprehensive information on wildlife disease events, and provides response and management consultation and...
Learn More