Fish & Wildlife Disease


USGS is the lead Federal agency for wildlife disease research and surveillance. Our wildlife health capabilities provide research, information, and technical assistance needed to manage wildlife through disease events. Congress and our partners rely on our science to make informed decisions about fish and wildlife disease policy, planning and management.

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Bsal a Threat to Vulnerable Amphibian Hosts

Bsal a Threat to Vulnerable Amphibian Hosts

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) in Appalachia: Using Scenario Building to Proactively Prepare for a Wildlife Disease Outbreak Caused by an Invasive Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

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USGS Response to White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

USGS Response to White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

USGS science has been a critical part of understanding, and responding to, white-nose syndrome. Learn more about the USGS response in this new fact sheet.

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Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

The USGS is focused on the development of early detection and effective response tools that promote an adaptive management approach to CWD.

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Date published: November 9, 2018

Multi-Partner Workshop Highlights Science Actions for a Potential Wildlife Disease Outbreak

A new USGS Open-File Report outlines findings from a scenario building workshop on a wildlife disease, facilitated by the Department of the Interior’s Strategic Sciences Group (SSG) and led by the USGS. 

Date published: October 26, 2018

A Unified Research Strategy for Disease Management

As wildlife diseases increase globally, an understanding of host-pathogen relationships can elucidate avenues for management and improve conservation efficacy. Amphibians are among the most threatened groups of wildlife, and disease is a major factor in global amphibian declines.


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Year Published: 2021

Exploration of the 2016 Yellowstone River fish kill and proliferative kidney disease in wild fish populations

Proliferative kidney disease (PKD) is an emerging disease that recently resulted in a large mortality event of salmonids in the Yellowstone River (Montana, USA). Total PKD fish mortalities in the Yellowstone River were estimated in the tens of thousands, which resulted in a multi‐week river closure and an estimated economic loss of US$500,000....

Hutchins, Patrick Ross; Sepulveda, Adam J.; Hartikainen, Hanna; Staigmiller, Ken D.; Opitz, Scott T.; Yamamoto, Renee M.; Huttinger, Amberly; Cordes, Rick J.; Weiss, Tammy; Hopper, Lacey R.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Okamura, Beth

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Year Published: 2021

Fish Rhabdoviruses (Rhabdoviridae)

The family Rhabdoviridae currently has 18 genera accepted by the International Committee for Virus Taxonomy (ICTV), and three of those genera contain fish rhabdoviruses. In the genera Novirhabdovirus, Sprivivirus, and Perhabdovirus all viruses infect fish hosts, and there are no fish viruses in any of the other 15 rhabdovirus genera. In the...

Kurath, Gael; Stone, David B.
Kurath, G. and D. Stone. 2021. Volume 2 - Viruses as Infectious Agents: Human and Animal Viruses -- Fish Rhabdoviruses (Rhabdoviridae), pages 324-331 in Dennis H. Bamford and Mark Zukerman (eds.), Encyclopedia of Virology, Fourth Edition. Academic Press, Elsevier Ltd. ISBN: 9780128145159.

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Year Published: 2021

SARS-CoV-2 exposure in escaped mink, Utah, USA

In August 2020, outbreaks of coronavirus disease were confirmed on mink farms in Utah, USA. We surveyed mammals captured on and around farms for evidence of infection or exposure. Free-ranging mink, presumed domestic escapees, exhibited high antibody titers, suggesting a potential severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission...

Shriner, Susan A.; Ellis, Jeremeny E.; Root, J. Jeffrey; Roug, Annette; Stopak, Scott R.; Wiscomb, Gerald W.; Zierenberg, Jared R.; Ip, Hon S.; Torchetti, Mia K.; DeLiberto, Thomas J.