News

May 28, 2019
Update on a Serological Diagnostic Assay for P. tenuis

With funding from NWDC members (ME, VT, NH), researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, let by Dr. Richard Gerhold, are developing a serological diagnostic assay for Parelaphostrongylus tenuis (meningeal worm or brain worm). 

May 1, 2019
New NWDC Member

We are thrilled to welcome Rhode Island’s Division of Fish and Wildlife as the newest member of the NWDC! 

April 15, 2019
NWDC Training Workshops, Summer 2019

We are finalizing dates and locations for your workshops this year. See details here. 

white tailed deer buck
April 6, 2019
Chronic Wasting Disease Prevention Lectures for the Public

In September 2018, the NWDC wildlife veterinarian gave a pilot lecture on this topic in New Hampshire. These lectures were open to any interested parties and emphasize the roles hunters and non-hunters can play in the prevention of this disease in their states and the region. Other NWDC member states may arrange lectures, and it may be possible to include them in our summer workshops.

January 3, 2019
NEAFWA Conference Update

NWDC and Jenny Dickson (CT DEEP) are moving along with the organization of a special symposium on wildlife disease at the NEAFWA conference in Groton, CT. Our symposium will take place in the afternoon on Monday, April 15.

October 15, 2018
NWDC Presentation at NEPARC Meeting

Julie Ellis and Jenny Dickson (Supervising Wildlife Biologist, CT DEEP) co-authored the talk “The Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative: Working With Biologists to Conserve Reptiles and Amphibians in the Region,” which Dickson gave at the 2018 meeting of Northeast Partneres in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NEPARC) held at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts July 31 – August 2.

October 15, 2018
Salamander-killing Fungus Gains an International Profile

During the annual meeting of international animal health experts in Paris in summer 2018, international experts agreed to add the salamander-killing fungus (Batrachochytridium salamandrivorans or Bsal) to the OIE (Office International des Epizooties) or the World Organization for Animal Health international list of tracked or “listed” animal diseases.

October 5, 2018
Update on P. tenuis ELISA

Dr. Richard Gerhold (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) has been developing a serum-based test for detection of P. tenuis. As of October, 2018, Dr. Gerhold has the following encouraging update: “We used the antigen produced from the new peptide we discovered from P. tenuis with positive controls and we got a really good signal. We now need to try with our negative controls. This is looking encouraging for us.”

October 1, 2018
Special Symposium at the 75th Annual NEAFWA Conference

NWDC is organizing a special symposium, “Wildlife Diseases in the Northeast,” at the 75th Annual Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference, hosted by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

July 1, 2018
New Home for NWDC at Penn Vet

NWDC is in transition from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University to its new home at the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet). Julie begins her new position at Penn Vet on September 1, 2018. 

May 29, 2018
Update on Status of P. tenuis ELISA

On April 27, Dr. Rick Gerhold provided an update on his progress developing a serum assay for P. tenuis via webinar. The grant to accomplish this work is administered by NWDC and funding has been provided cooperatively by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game Department.

May 28, 2018
Request for Feedback on "Diagnostics 101" Webinar

We hosted a 1-hour webinar, “Diagnostics 101,” presented by Dr. Maria Forzan (Cornell Wildlife Health Lab) on March 16. Dr. Forzan described some of the diagnostic tests commonly used in wildlife cases (e.g. PCR, ELISA). We are seeking feedback on the webinar. Specifically, are there additional topics, related to diagnostics, that Members would like to learn more about? Would you like to hear the same webinar a second time with more time for questions? Please get in touch with NWDC staff with your suggestions.

May 5, 2018
NWDC Member Questionnaire

NWDC staff have developed and distributed a questionnaire for members so we can assess their wildlife health-related needs going forward. We look forward to the responses and input on services that are high priority.

April 28, 2018
Special Symposium at the Annual NEAFWA Conference

NWDC and the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab organized a special symposium, “Ongoing and Emerging Threats to Wildlife Health in the Northeast,” at the 74th Annual Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference (April 15-17, 2018, Burlington, Vermont).

February 1, 2018
New NWDC Website

The NWDC website has been revamped using a new content management system and a new design. We’ve revised the structure of the existing content to make the site as easy to navigate as possible. With a new backbone, the site will be better able to accommodate new features for Members.

white tailed deer buck
January 26, 2018
Chronic Wasting Disease in the Northeast

On January 26, we hosted a 1-hour webinar, “Chronic Wasting Disease: Prevention for the Public Trust” with Dr. Krysten Schuler, wildlife disease ecologist at the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab.

October 1, 2017
Reptile and Amphibian Working Group

We are hosting three separate conference calls to discuss recommendations for animals in the pet trade (November 14, 1-2PM), head-starting projects (November 17, 2-3PM), and rehabilitation or research facilities (December 14, 1:30 – 2:30PM). 

September 15, 2017
Webinar on Emerging Diseases of Amphibians and Reptiles

NWDC hosted a 1-hour webinar, "Emerging Diseases of Amphibians and Reptiles," on September 14, 2017. Dr. Maria Forzan (Cornell) presented a brief review of diseases, sampling techniques, testing protocols, and euthanasia.

August 15, 2017
Annual Training Workshops for State Agencies Completed

The objectives of this year’s workshop were to review the wildlife disease surveillance plans that we created last year, and to work through some disease scenarios in order to finalize the nuts and bolts of the plans.

July 15, 2017
Wildlife Health Cornell

Wildlife Health Cornell, a Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Center of Excellence, was unveiled this month.

May 30, 2017
Field Necropsy Training in Maine

Once considered “irregular and anecdotal,” the population of lynx in Maine has been increasing since the late 1990s in response to the abundance of high quality habitat for lynx and their main prey, snowshoe hares.

May 26, 2017
Annual Training Workshops for State Members

At this year’s workshops we will review and edit the wildlife disease surveillance plans that we created last year, and will work toward finalizing them.

May 19, 2017
Webinar for USFWS Refuge Biologists in Region 5

We completed a 3-part webinar on diseases of wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, for staff of U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuges, Northeast region.

Dr. Maria Forzan, Wildlife Pathologist, Cornell
May 19, 2017
New Wildlife Pathologist at Cornell University

Dr. María J. Forzán (DVM, PhD) recently joined Cornell's Wildlife Health Laboratory team as a wildlife pathologist. At Cornell, Dr. Forzán works with all wild species and specializes in diseases of amphibians.

May 19, 2017
Necropsy Training for Vermont Moose Mortality Study

In late January a special necropsy refresher training session was provided to the individuals most likely to respond to collared moose mortality events in the first year of Vermont’s moose study.

May 2, 2017
Survey of administrative assistants at state wildlife agencies.

NWDC staff conducted a conference call and online survey of administrative assistants at state agencies to gain a better understanding of the typical kinds of wildlife health-related inquiries received by agency staff, and determine how NWDC might help staff maximize the quality and utility of information received from such inquiries.

April 1, 2017
What can NWDC members do to protect wild amphibians?

If you find dead salamanders or newts, consider taking photographs and collecting fresh carcasses.

April 1, 2017
Make sure to have a disinfection protocol in place

The following protocol should be used any time work is done in amphibian habitat to prevent contamination and spread of disease.

October 1, 2016
Continuing progress on state wildlife health programs

NWDC staff are organizing a conference call for Administrative Assistants at state wildlife agencies in order to gain a better understanding of the typical types of inquiries they receive related to wildlife health, as well as any challenges they have in fielding these inquiries.

April 1, 2016
Active surveillance activities in the Northeast U.S.

A nationwide investigation led by the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is being undertaken to determine whether Bsal is present in wild amphibian populations in the United States.

April 1, 2016
Salamander Chytrid Disease

To help prevent the deadly fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), from killing native salamanders, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared 201 salamander species as injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act.