Wildlife disease

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Wildlife, domestic animals and humans share a large and increasing number of infectious diseases, known as zoonoses. The continued globalization of society, human population growth, and associated landscape changes further enhances the interface between wildlife, domestic animals, and humans, thereby facilitating additional infectious disease emergence. The wildlife component of this triad has received inadequate focus in the past to effectively protect human health as evidenced by such contemporary diseases as SARS, Lyme disease, West Nile Fever, and a host of other emerging diseases. Further, habitat loss and other factors associated with human-induced landscape changes have reduced past ability for many wildlife populations to overcome losses due to various causes. This disease emergence and resurgence has reached unprecedented importance for the sustainability of desired population levels for many wildlife populations and for the long-term survival of some species.

The Wildlife Data Integration Network at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a public information clearinghouse for wildlife disease materials, such as news, fact-sheets, images, and articles. The Wildlife Health Event Reporter is a Citizen Science project to facilitate recognition and public awareness of wildlife diseases.

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Friend, Milton, Wildlife Health Connection to Emerging Infectious Diseases