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The USGS National Wildlife Health Center: Advancing wildlife and ecosystem health

January 11, 2017

In 1975, the Federal government responded to the need for establishing national expertise in wildlife health by creating the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), a facility within the Department of the Interior; the NWHC is the only national center dedicated to wildlife disease detection, control, and prevention. Its mission is to provide national leadership to safeguard wildlife and ecosystem health through active partnerships and exceptional science. Comparisons are often made between the NWHC, which strives to protect the health of our Nation’s wildlife, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which strive to protect public health. The NWHC, a science center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) with specialized laboratories, works to safeguard the Nation’s wildlife from diseases by studying the causes and drivers of these threats, and by developing strategies to prevent and manage them. In addition to the main campus, located in Madison, Wisconsin, the NWHC also operates the Honolulu Field Station that addresses wildlife health issues in Hawaii and the Pacific Region.