What is a 'disease'?
The definition of wildlife has changed over time. The old-fashioned definition includes only the native, undomesticated animals (fauna) to a region. This does NOT include the plant life (flora) or even fish, for some reason!
Today, wildlife is defined more by anything that is wild and alive.
This website will discuss diseases that threaten CT's amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Not enough research was found on other animal groups.
A disease is some sort of condition that affects an organism and impairs its normal bodily functions. This could be a physical or mental condition (or it may impair both), and symptoms vary from disease to disease.
They have many causes, though the ones most common in wildlife seem to be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, or parasite.
Flip through the pictures below to learn more about a group, and then click one to learn more about diseases that affect them!
The fungus Chytridiomycota
A white-tailed deer of CT
Pictured: Eastern Garter Snake
CT reptiles include 24 species of turtles, snakes, and lizards. Reptiles are distinguished by scales covering their bodies.
Fun fact! These scales are comprised of keratin, the same substance that's in the nails and hair of people.
Picture source: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/v
Pictured: American Robin
There have been 421 recorded species of birds in CT. Many have simply flown through the area; around 175 species nest here (still an astounding amount!).
Fun fact! A bird's bones are hollow (with structural supports, of course) to lessen their weight and make it easier to fly. Some flightless birds, like penguins, have solid bones.
Pictured: American Bullfrog
There are 23 species of amphibians in CT, including frogs, toads, and salamanders. They are vertebrates with moist, outer layers of skin.
Fun fact! Amphibian means "double life" to represent an aquatic gill-breathing larval stage followed (typically) by a terrestrial lung-breathing adult stage.
Picture source: http://ehssashares.blogspot.