Document Type

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Report

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Infectious diseases are a serious threat to the viability of wildlife populations worldwide, including those in national parks and other protected areas where agricultural operations, development, and recreation are degrading and fragmenting habitat and increasing the potential for interactions between wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. The spread of infectious diseases and parasites is of particular concern in the greater Yellowstone area, which supports world-renowned herds of ungulates that provide significant visitor enjoyment and benefits to local economies through guiding and sport hunting. The high diversity, density, and co-mingling rates of ungulates in this area could facilitate the rapid emergence and spread of infectious diseases such as brucellosis, chronic wasting disease, and Johne's disease, with escalating disease threats to livestock and people along the public/private land interface.