08-16-17 Wildlife Partners Unite to Protect Iconic Species from Deadly Plague…BARN’s Livestream Coverage!

Wildlife Partners Unite to Protect Iconic Species from Deadly Plague

August 16, 2017 – Reporters were invited to an event at the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center south of Carr and north of Fort Collins, CO, showcasing cooperative efforts to develop a potential breakthrough in wildlife management – an oral vaccine that may help protect prairie dogs against plague and assist in the recovery of endangered black-footed ferrets at specific locations in the West.

Prairie dogs in the wild are less likely to succumb to sylvatic plague after they ingest peanut-butter-flavored bait that contains a vaccine against the disease, according to recent field trials conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others.

In this image, a Gunnison prairie dog eats a bait laden with the sylvatic plague vaccine. Prairie dogs in the wild are less likely to succumb to plague after they ingest peanut-butter-flavored bait that contains a vaccine against the disease. Credit: Tonie Rocke, USGS. Public domain.

The development of a safe, effective and economical sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, to protect prairie dogs in identified management areas is part of a multi-partner collaboration to increase populations of endangered black-footed ferrets and conserve the prairie dogs that ferrets rely on for survival. SPV may also aid in the recovery of the Utah prairie dog or help prevent the Gunnison’s prairie dog from becoming at risk.

This vaccine is only the second product of its kind to be used at the landscape level to protect wildlife. It will soon be used on thousands of acres in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and potentially other western states.

Scientists and representatives involved in the development, manufacture, registration and distribution of the SPV bait and in the black-footed ferret recovery effort made themselves available for interviews, including representatives from:the USGS National Wildlife Health Center; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Colorado Parks and Wildlife; and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The vaccine is being manufactured by the Colorado Serum Company.

Challenges associated with disease management in free-ranging wildlife populations include the development of effective products, field delivery of products and attention to regulatory needs. This event highlights a unique multi-partner approach to address these challenges.

Sylvatic plague is a deadly disease that affects wildlife and occasionally infects people and pets. For more information about sylvatic plague and the coordinated effort to conserve black-footed ferrets, please visit the USGS National Wildlife Health Center sylvatic plague website. More information about black-footed ferrets is available on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/.

To view exclusive audio/video overage from the 2017 Sylvatic Plaque Vaccine Partner Appreciation Day, courtesy of The BARN, please visit https://livestream.com/BarnMedia/SPVAppreciationDay

SPV Partner Appreciation Day Opening Remarks 

National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center Tour

Interview with Ken Morgan,  CO Parks & Wildlife’s Private Lands Manager

Interview with Tonie Rocke, PhD, Epizootiologist, US DoI, USGS & National Wildlife Health Center

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/.