Wildlife Disease and Zoonotics


Date of this Version



Published in Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases: General Field Procedures and Diseases of Birds, edited by Milton Friend and J. Christian Franson, USGS-National Wildlife Health Center, 1999 (online 2007; http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/field_manual/).


Section 1 of the Manual provides basic information regarding general field procedures for responding to wildlife disease events. Field biologists provide a critical linkage in disease diagnostic work and greatly affect the outcome of the laboratory efforts by the quality of the materials and information that they provide. The chapters in this section are oriented towards providing guidance that will assist field biologists in gathering the quality of information and specimens that are needed. Readers will find information regarding what to record and how; guidance for specimen collection, preservation, and shipment; and how to apply euthanasia when such actions are warranted. Disease operations are managed at the field level and they can be aided by general preplanning that can be utilized when disease emergencies arise; therefore, contingency planning is included within the Disease Control Operations chapter. Disease control techniques, including equipment that is used, are the main focus for this highly illustrated chapter. Section 1 is concluded with a chapter about the proper care and use of wildlife in field research. The guidelines provided address the continual need to consider animal welfare in all aspects of wildlife management.