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National Wildlife Research Center

The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) is the research unit of the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services program. Scientists and support staff are dedicated to finding solutions to challenging wildlife damage management problems related to agriculture, natural resources, property, and human health and safety.

Human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife damage, nuisance and pest animals, wildlife disease, invasive species, overabundant wildlife, and overall ecosystem health are just some of the topics studied by researchers at the National Wildlife Research Center.

National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
970-266-6000 | 

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Black tailed prairie dog

Plague in the United States

For those who live out West, stories about people infected with plague are not uncommon. Usually, people are exposed when their pets become infected or carry plague-infected fleas. People can also become sick from a plague-infected flea bite after handling wildlife or through contaminated fluids or tissues from a plague-infected animal. 

The Wildlife Services’ (WS) National Wildlife Disease Program (NWDP) monitors plague activity in wildlife. Between 2005 and 2018, WS and its partners collected approximately 45,000 blood samples from wildlife across the western United States. By analyzing these archived samples, WS-NWRC researchers and the NWDP documented plague exposure in 18 wildlife species.

Learn more about what they discovered

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