Climate Change and Wildlife Health: Direct and Indirect Effects

Climate change will have significant effects on the health of wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. As USGS summarizes in Climate Change and Wildlife Health: Direct and Indirect Effects, awareness has been growing in recent years about zoonotic diseases— that is, diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans, such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus. The rise of such diseases results from closer relationships among wildlife, domestic animals, and people, allowing more contact with diseased animals, organisms that carry and transmit a disease from one animal to another (vectors), and people.