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 Wildlife Disease: Significance


 
 Wildlife Health Connection to Emerging Infectious Diseases

Otters Wildlife, domestic animals and humans share a large and increasing number of infectious diseases. The continued globalization of society, human population growth, and associated landscape changes will further enhance interfaces between wildlife, domestic animals, and humans, thereby facilitating additional infectious disease emergence. These interfaces are such that a century-old concept of “the one medicine” is receiving greater attention because of the need to address these diseases across species if their economic, social, and other impacts are to be effectively minimized. 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.

Current information and insights about wildlife disease presented within this Wildlife Data Integration Network provide a foundation for preemptive actions and responses that can help to minimize disease impacts for the benefit of free-ranging wildlife and society in general.

Milton Friend
USGS Emeritus Scientist
Founding Director, USGS National Wildlife Health Center


This site was developed and is maintained by the Wildlife Data Integration Network with support from:
University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Veterinary Medicine