Who We Are
The Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative (NWDC) began in 2011 and provides diagnostic services, expertise, training, and research support to state and federal agencies that manage wildlife populations in the Northeast. Participating veterinary diagnostic laboratories located throughout the region serve NWDC members, which include the wildlife agencies of 8 states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Northeast Region).
Through the cooperative structure of the NWDC, multiple institutions contribute their respective skills and knowledge, and agencies pool their resources to fund a cost-effective and efficient means of detecting, diagnosing and responding to wildlife disease events. The main objective of the NWDC is to serve the agencies that are in charge of managing and conserving wildlife species in the region. We also work to have strong relationships with partners in human and domestic animal health under the tenet that the health of all species is inextricably linked.
Funding for the NWDC comes from our Members, Tufts University, and from a private donation from Tracy Holmes.
Why the Northeast?
The northeastern United States has several characteristics that make it vulnerable to emerging infectious diseases affecting animals, wild and domestic, and humans. It is the most densely populated region of the United States with several, large urban areas. There are major ports in New York and Boston where human and animal travelers pour into the region, creating opportunity for introduction of novel pathogens. The Northeast also has large rural and agricultural landscapes where spillover of diseases between domestic animals and wildlife can occur. With fewer people in these areas, sick or dead wildlife are less likely to be observed and reported.