Diseases like bird flu, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease have made headlines in recent years. Such diseases, which often are shaped by environmental conditions and are transmitted from animals to humans, are likely to gain even more attention in coming years. As scientists share information on them to close knowledge gaps, reporters can watch them work and find good stories.
You can tap into that network of information by checking out the latest upgrades to the Wildlife Disease Information Node, which is run by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and two branches within the US Geological Survey, the National Wildlife Health Center and the National Biological Information Infrastructure. Along with a world map that tracks reports of wildlife disease incidents daily, there are links to a wide array of other resources on wildlife diseases. In many cases, there still is very limited information on the diseases listed, but those may flesh out over time. In other cases, such as for West Nile virus, you can work your way through the links and get very detailed maps and other information for occurrences in every state and county.