Diseases know no political or cultural boundaries – understanding the role that wild birds played in the HPAIV outbreak in 2014-15, how pneumonia has limited the comeback of bighorn sheep, the impact that screwworm myasis has recently had on Key deer, the uncertainties about the precipitating factors that result in Snake Fungal dermatitis cases, all have highlighted the impact of health and disease as a significant component of wildlife management and—for those situations where disease has shown to cause population declines—to conservation. These events also highlight the significance of a prompt and efficient response. Wildlife disease investigations are often initiated by an epizootic. They test various hypotheses regarding the etiology and precipitation factors of a disease event, while providing the potential to gain knowledge of wildlife pathogens and their impacts on the health of wildlife populations, domestic animals, and humans. Maximizing the quality, usefulness, and application of wildlife pathogen data requires a clear understanding of appropriate sample collection, handling, and processing. As new diseases are described, and new technologies evolve, the techniques utilized to collect and process biological samples change and must be updated. This workshop utilizes lectures, real-life scenarios and hands-on practical experience to elucidate the salient points of disease investigation—some examples would include how to approach cases with legal implications, how to collect environmental data, appropriate and safe biological sample collection and storage, and advances in diagnostic assays. The objective will be to provide biologists general training for safe and systematic wildlife health investigations.
Organizers: Heather Fenton, Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, University of Georgia Athens, GA; Peregrine Wolff, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Reno, NV; Sonia Hernandez, Southeastern Coooperative Wildlife Disease Study, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Barb Bodenstein, USGS, Madison, WI; Margaret Wild, National Park Service, Ft. Collins, CO; Kevin Castle, Alpenglow Veterinary Specialists, Boulder, CO; Megin Nichols, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA
Supported by: TWS Wildlife Disease Working Group, SCWDS