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Animal Diseases

New York State Wildlife Health Program

The New York State Cooperative Wildlife Health Program (WHP) is a partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Bureau of Wildlife and Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory (leaves DEC website) that works to safeguard the long-term health of the wildlife populations of New York.

Wildlife Diseases

Information on several wildlife diseases can be found in the left column. Additional wildlife disease fact sheets (leaves DEC website) can be found on the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab webpage. They were developed by the New York State Cooperative Wildlife Health Program. These fact sheets may be downloaded as PDFs.

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) is a fatal virus that affects rabbits and hares. A new strain, RHDV2, was identified in 2010. In 2020, RHDV2 jumped to wild rabbits and hares in the southwestern U.S., where it spread to six states within four months. It can infect wild rabbits and hares in addition to domestic rabbits. RHDV2 is extremely hardy, easily transmitted, and highly lethal to rabbits and hares. The most likely routes of introduction to New York are through transported domestic rabbits, internationally imported rabbit products, or people who travel to outbreak areas in the Southwest. Read the RHDV2 factsheet (PDF) to learn more about how it spreads, ways to prevent it, and what you can do to help.


More about Animal Diseases:

  • Aspergillosis - The causes, symptoms, diagnosis and prevention of the wildlife disease Aspergillosis.
  • Brain Worm - Review the life cycle, symptoms, diagnosis, and management implications of the parasitic brain worm inflicting New York's moose.
  • Chronic Wasting Disease - Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a rare, fatal, neurological disease found in cervids, members of the deer family.
  • House Finch Conjunctivitis - The symptoms and treatment of the disease House Finch Conjuntivitis
  • Trichomoniasis - A description of the disease of doves and pidgeons, Trichomoniasis. Includes symptoms, mode of tranmission, how to diagnose and threats to other species.
  • White-nose Syndrome - Bat biologists across the country are evaluating strategies to monitor the presence of this disease and collect specimens for laboratory analysis.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Fish and Wildlife
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4750
    518-402-8883
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  • Page applies to all NYS regions