Vehicle Fuel Available at Big Meadows ONLY!
Vehicle fuel is only available at Big Meadows (mile 52). Gas service has been discontinued at the Loft and Elkwallow areas.
There has been an outbreak of Norovirus among Appalachian Trail (A.T.) hikers. For information about how to protect yourself click here. More »
Alan Williams, NPS Photo
Many of us have had experience with pets or houseplants that have become ill. Animals and plants that occur in the wild are also subject to disease and resulting poor health or death. Some diseases occur naturally in native animals and plants while others originate outside of North America. Often those non-native diseases can have devastating impacts on native plants and animals. Naturally occurring diseases are not managed in National Parks unless they pose a threat to adjacent forests or crops, nearby livestock, and, in a few cases, wildlife in nearby areas. Non-native diseases, however, are controlled to the extent that technology and financial resources allow.
Examples of native diseases that occur in wildlife at Shenandoah include rabies in skunks, fox, and raccoons and bacterial kidney disease in fish. Park staff is vigilant in watching for non-native diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and West Nile Virus in birds. A native disease of plants in Shenandoah is leaf spot. Non-native plant diseases include dogwood anthracnose, sycamore anthracnose, and chestnut blight.
Today, chestnuts can only be found in the understory, as shoots from the blight resistant roots. By the time they reach 20 feet in height the blight attacks and kills them.
Davidson, W.R. and V.F. Nettles. 1988. Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases in the Southeastern United States. Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, The College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
Sinclair, W.A., H.H. Lyon, and W.T. Johnson. 1987. Diseases of Trees and Shrubs. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, New York.
USDA-FS. 1994. Dogwood anthracnose and its spread in the South. Protection Report R8-PR-26, July 1994. USDA-Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, Georgia. 10 pp.
A website that provides helpful information about disease is:
Listing of these websites does not and is not intended to imply endorsement by the National Park Service of commercial services or products associated with the sites.
Did You Know?
American chestnut trees, whose trunks were killed off by a fungus blight long ago, still send up shoots that you can see along many of Shenandoah National Park’s trails.