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Issue 23
March , 2010
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Plagued!

Source: ENN, Date: March , 2010

Plague has been identified as a disease of concern to human, wildlife and domestic animal populations within the United States. When one thinks of plague one thinks of the Black Plague in Europe in the Dark Ages that was spread by rodents. However, plague also affects wildlife where a reservoir of the disease is maintained. Plague, a flea borne bacterial disease introduced to North America in the late 1800s, spreads rapidly across a landscape, causing devastating effects to wildlife and posing risks to people. Conservation and recovery efforts for imperiled species such as the black footed ferret and Utah prairie dog are greatly hampered by the effects of plague. Eruptions of the fatal disease have wiped out prairie dog colonies, as well as dependent ferret populations, in many locations over the years.


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