USGS is the lead Federal agency for wildlife disease research and surveillance. Congress and our partners rely on our science to make informed decisions about fish and wildlife disease policy, planning and management. USGS scientists are developing advanced tools for disease diagnosis, surveillance, risk assessment and control. Cause-of-death investigations and next generation sequencing have led to the discovery of new pathogens. USGS research on diseases at the interface of wildlife, domestic animals and humans support public health (e.g., sylvatic plague) and domestic animal health (e.g., avian influenza). Our disease ecologists are also examining how climate change, invasive species and landscape changes are impacting disease dynamics.
M. Camille Harris
In 2014, USGS scientists detected three HPAI viruses for the first time in wild birds in North America.Learn more
As of September 2015, bats with WNS were confirmed in 26 states and five Canadian provinces.Learn more
Chytrid fungus was identified 15 years ago as one of the primary causes of death for many amphibians.Learn more
Sylvatic plague is a flea-borne bacterial disease of wild rodents.Learn more
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) affects cervids (elk, moose, mule deer, and white-tailed deer) throughout the U.S.Learn more
Avian malaria is a mosquito-borne disease of birds caused by a protozoan parasite (Plasmodium relictum).Learn more
Coral disease is now one of the major causes of reef degradation and coral mortality.Learn more
USGS fish disease research is focused on developing advanced tools for rapid disease detection and control.Learn more
Sea stars are dying off at dramatic rates across the West Coast from Baja California in Mexico to Alaska.Learn more
Avian botulism is caused by the soil bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, and causes paralysis and death in birds.Learn more
USGS and the Association for Fish and Wildlife Agencies are co-hosting a monthly webinar series on fish and wildlife disease. The purpose of this series is to keep our partners informed about our current disease research and start a discussion to understand how USGS science can support disease management efforts.