Is COVID-19 changing the way you spend time outdoors? Does that increase the risk of exposure of you, your family, or dogs to ticks or tick-borne diseases?

You are invited by researchers at The University of Georgia, Hollins University, Duke University, Clemson University, and the University of Rhode Island to participate in a research study entitled “Investigating COVID-19 impacts on the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases in people and pets”.

The purpose of this study is to determine if COVID-19 restrictions on society have had an effect on the time that people or their pets spend outdoors and if this change is associated with an increased risk of exposure to ticks or tick-borne diseases.

Any person who is 18 or older and a resident of the United States or Canada is eligible to participate.

Your participation will involve filling out a short survey that should only take about 10-15 minutes of your time (or less if you do not have children and/or dogs).

Please click here to access the survey or paste this link in your browser –

Also, please share this survey with anybody that you think would be willing to complete the survey.

We greatly appreciate your participation in this study. If you have any questions about this research project, please contact the study supervisor, Dr. Michael Yabsley, at

Veterinary Internship Opportunity at Wildlife Center in Costa Rica…

Rescate Animal Zooave is a wildlife rescue center, sanctuary and conservation breeding center in Alajuela, Costa Rica. Over 2700 animals were admitted to the rescue center in 2019. They have a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center, veterinary clinic, and full-time veterinarian. They are offering veterinary internships whereby interns are provided accommodation and meals at the rescue center and work directly with the rescue team. For more information, visit their website.

Graduate Research Assistantship in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Idaho…

The University of Idaho is seeking a graduate student (MS or PhD) to support research on the ecology of moose in Idaho as part of a comprehensive research program initiated by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to understand factors contributing to population declines. Start date is Spring or Summer 2020 and application review begins February 1, 2020. For more information, click here.

New Strategic Plan for the USGS National Wildlife Health Center

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center has adopted a new strategic science plan to guide our efforts to advance wildlife health for the next five years. The strategic plan includes three initiatives that will help us work collectively to realize our new mission: advancing wildlife health science for the benefit of animals, humans, and the environment. The plan is intended to be solutions focused and innovative to address complex problems impacting wildlife health. As we work toward implementing the strategic initiatives described in the plan, we look forward to working collaboratively with you, our partners, to advance wildlife health.

Click here for an executive summary of the strategic plan.

Upcoming Application Deadline for Internship at Tufts Wildlife Clinic…

The Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University offers two paid post-DVM internships in Wildlife and Conservation Medicine at Tufts Wildlife Clinic, housed in the Bernice Barbour Wildlife Medicine Building on Cummings School’s North Grafton, MA campus.  

The Clinic serves the six New England states and provides diagnostic, surgical, and professional services for the diverse wildlife species native to New England. The application deadline is October 25, 2019. For more details, click here.

Upcoming ACZM Exam Preparation and Study Course, Plus Round Table Discussion…

The ACZM Exam Preparation and Study Course will be held the weekend before the AAZV conference on Saturday, September 28 (8am – 5pm) and Sunday, September 29 (8am – 1pm).

Additionally, on Sunday, September 29 (11:30am – 12:30pm) there will be a 1-hour round table discussion entitled: “Mentor-Mentee Round Table Discussion: Debunking ACZM Exam Myths”. This was created based on years of feedback (concerns/complaints/questions) the Exam committee received about the exam and the studying process.

Remote access is an option for those not attending the conference. Click here for more details.

News from OIE Wildlife Working Group

The Role of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in Wildlife Disease Surveillance
The need to fight animal diseases at the global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties (World Organisation for Animal Health; OIE) through an international agreement signed on January 25th, 1924. The OIE is the intergovernmental organization with 182 Member Countries responsible for improving animal health and welfare worldwide and is the relevant organization for Animal Health to the World Trade Organization. The OIE maintains permanent relations with nearly 75 other international organizations and has regional and sub-regional offices on every continent. The OIE recognizes the threats to public, animal and environmental health from wildlife diseases and encourages all countries to increase capacity to conduct surveillance, early detection, and initiate appropriate response to outbreaks and spread of diseases in wildlife. Specific activities of the OIE related to wildlife diseases include a standing Working Group on Wildlife to provide the OIE with scientific expertise on wildlife diseases, the development of science-based standards related to disease risks at the interface among wildlife, domestic animals, and humans, support to Member Countries to strengthen their Veterinary Services to protect animal health including aspects related to wildlife and biodiversity, and surveillance of wildlife diseases and notification of animal diseases through the global OIE information systems WAHIS and WAHIS-Wild. In that regard each Member Country is encouraged to appoint a National Focal Point for Wildlife with several responsibilities, including but not limited to:
1. to establish a network of wildlife experts within his/her country or to communicate with the existing network;
2. to establish and maintain a dialogue with the Competent Authority for wildlife in his/her country, and to facilitate cooperation and communication among several authorities where responsibility is shared;
3. under the authority of the OIE Delegate of his/her country, to support the optimal collection and submission of wildlife disease information to the OIE through WAHIS (immediate notifications and follow-up reports, six-monthly reports, and annual questionnaires) to enable the OIE Delegate to more efficiently manage his/her OIE Member obligation.
Specifically, there are approximately 50 non-OIE listed wildlife diseases of interest ( and the National Focal Point for Wildlife is responsible for providing information to the Member Country’s Delegate for submission of the annual voluntary report for wildlife to the OIE concerning any detections of these diseases. The national and international reporting of wildlife diseases is important to build situational awareness regarding wildlife disease and health, build national knowledge capacity, increase coordination among agencies, and integrate wildlife health into other surveillance frameworks. For more information please see the associated OIE infographic (© World Organisation for Animal Health [OIE]), and to report a detection of a wildlife disease of interest in the United States please contact the U.S. National Focal Point for Wildlife:
Dr. Jonathan Sleeman, Center Director
USGS, National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, WI 53711, Tel: (608) 270 2401; Email:

Please see the AAWV Member Forum for a PDF of the report (Anne Justice-Allen, AAWV Vice President)