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A new tool launched by US Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison relies on crowd-sourcing in order to better track wildlife illness and deaths. Officials hope that this growing database can provide an early-warning system for health problems that can harm both wildlife and people, and supplement what government and university personnel can track.
The database, which is global, is small so far, but there already are a number of posted incidents that affect at least 1,000 animals in a single setting, providing possible stories for you to investigate. In addition, your coverage of this tool will alert your audience to its availability, increasing its usefulness. As the database grows, it may provide a good tool for you to identify emerging problems and patterns.
- Wildlife Health Event Reporter; Oct. 25, 2010, USGS press release.