Learn more about the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) below.
Supporting wildlife through research and education
A Long-term and Cooperative Approach to Wildlife Health
The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) was founded in 1957 as a cooperative to provide wildlife disease expertise, diagnostic capacity, and research infrastructure to state wildlife agencies in the Southeast United States. The state-federal cooperative structure of the SCWDS is a cost-efficient means of providing high quality wildlife disease expertise to State and Federal Agencies responsible for this nation’s wildlife 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 existing State or Federal Laboratory or Agency but, instead, provides services of scope and quality that otherwise would not be available or that enhance existing state-level capacity.
The 17 member state wildlife agencies of SCWDS, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System, and the United States Geological Service Ecosystems Mission Area 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), to provide expertise and capacity in surveillance of vectors and vector-borne pathogens. In addition to these foundational resources, SCWDS faculty and staff secure additional extramural grants to fund focused wildlife health research projects relevant to our cooperative member agencies. These resources are greatly enhanced by the University of Georgia, which provides salary support, administrative assistance for grants and contracts, and high-quality research, service, and teaching facilities. 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, including wildlife managers, outdoor recreationists, livestock producers, landowners, veterinarians, public health officials, and physicians. SCWDS serves as common ground where wildlife experts work hand-in-hand with private, state, and federal authorities toward a common goal. This cooperative, regional approach to wildlife health has been highly successful for over 65 years now.