The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study has provided continuous service since 1957 for the health of this nation’s wildlife resources, domestic livestock, and people.
The state-federal cooperative structure of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) is the most cost-efficient means of providing high quality wildlife disease expertise to State and Federal Agencies responsible for this nation’s wildlife and domestic livestock resources. By sharing facilities, vehicles, scientific equipment, salaries, and other costs, each sponsoring agency has access to wildlife capabilities far more sophisticated and responsive than could be afforded individually. The SCWDS program does not duplicate the efforts of any existing State or Federal Laboratory or Agency but, instead, provides services of scope and quality that otherwise would not be available.
The wildlife agencies of 18 states (shown in green on map) and the U.S. Geological Survey of the United States Department of the Interior fund regional wildlife research and service projects. SCWDS also is supported by Veterinary Services of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), for consultation and surveillance on a national and international basis where diseases may interact among wildlife, domestic livestock, and poultry. In addition to the financial benefits of a cooperative approach, there are numerous other points of consideration. Wildlife disease problems are of mutual concern to a variety of people — wildlife managers, outdoor recreationists, farmers, landowners, veterinarians, and physicians. SCWDS serves as common ground where wildlife experts work hand-in-hand with private, state, and federal authorities toward a common goal.
Special Achievements of SCWDS
The collective activities of SCWDS have resulted in the publication of more than 579 articles in numerous scientific journals, articles in symposia, and books.Diseases and Parasites of White-tailed Deer, a book edited by SCWDS personnel, further establishes SCWDS as a reference center for information on diseases and parasites of this nation’s number one big game animal. To further extend practical wildlife disease information to the conservation work force, SCWDS has produced three editions of the Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases in the Southeastern United States.This pocket-sized handbook contains more than 140 color photographs and drawings of frequently encountered diseases and parasites. SCWDS produces other informational materials that are useful for training and public education, such as the quarterly newsletter SCWDS Briefs and brochures on important wildlife disease topics.
Training for wildlife biologists and veterinary medical officers has become an important mission for SCWDS in recent years. Wildlife disease workshops or special programs designed to acquaint field personnel and administrators with major wildlife disease topics have been conducted in 19 states. With more than 50 years’ experience, SCWDS provides unparalleled expertise pertaining to wildlife diseases. Staff members have provided expert advice on numerous occasions to state wildlife agencies, the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the U.S. Animal Health Association, and Emergency Programs of Veterinary Services, APHIS, USDA.
The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study is today what its founders had hoped it would be: an action-oriented cooperative agency providing continuous service for the welfare of this nation’s wildlife resources, domestic livestock interests, and human health.