Across the United States, songbirds are dying from a mysterious condition. Working with long-established partners, Penn Vet researchers are striving for a diagnosis.
Wildlife Futures Program experts at Penn Vet and officials from the Pennsylvania Game Commission are investigating more than 70 general public reports of songbirds that are sick or dying dying due to an emerging health condition with an unknown cause.
The Northeast Wildlife Administrators Association of the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in April honored the Pennsylvania Game Commission for the agency’s forward-thinking in establishing its Wildlife Futures Program.
Last month, it was gorillas. Before that, it was mink. And earlier still, tigers and lions. All of these species have been confirmed to have had a diagnosis of COVID-19, infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease. For the 200+ bats currently in wildlife rehabilitation facilities across Pennsylvania, this presents a threat. Eman Anis, a microbiologist with Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center, is leading a study to test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in North American bats, work being done with associate professors Lisa Murphy and Julie Ellis and Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Greg Turner.
When wildlife biologist Matthew Schnupp began his career, the emphasis was on conserving habitat. “The paradigm of wildlife management for the last 20 years has been habitat management,” he says, aiming to conserve the land and ecosystems animals require to thrive.
PennVet and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) recently initiated the Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program (WFP), a new science-based, wildlife health program that will increase disease surveillance, management and innovative research aimed at better protecting wildlife across the Commonwealth.
White-nose syndrome has killed 99 percent of most cave-bat species.
Chronic wasting disease continues to spread to new parts of Pennsylvania, infecting and killing deer and threatening hunting tradition.
In August 2019, Penn Vet and the Game Commission announced the Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program, a new science-based, wildlife health program that will increase disease surveillance, management and research to better protect wildlife across the Commonwealth.