RESOURCES: Diseases of Field and Stream

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Science  20 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5589, pp. 1963
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5589.1963e

You could consider the National Wildlife Health Center to be wildlife biologists' version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The U.S. Geological Survey facility in Madison, Wisconsin, keeps tabs on diseases that strike wild animals, probes their causes, and helps wildlife managers fight epidemics. The center's Web site is a clearinghouse of information on animal illnesses.

Visitors can peruse the past 8 years of wildlife mortality reports, which identify outbreaks in the United States. Or download The Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases, a guide to scores of common causes of illness and death in birds, from avian cholera to mercury poisoning. The site also offers backgrounders on the epidemiology of chronic wasting disease, a lethal brain illness similar to mad cow disease that has killed deer and elk in 10 states, as well as the infamous West Nile virus. The nasty bug rarely infects humans but has attacked more than 200 species of birds and wild mammals since arriving in the United States 3 years ago.

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