California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Wildlife Investigations Lab - Biological Sampling

WIL maintains laboratory facilities for:

  • Biological sample collection, testing and archiving
  • Preparation of immobilization drugs
  • Performing wildlife necropsies
  • Performing wildlife exams and surgeries

Necessary medical supplies for wildlife surgeries and necropsies are maintained for laboratory and field projects. WIL has one of the largest archives of large mammal serology in the United States. Biological samples can be used to test the overall health of populations or individuals, and assists biologists in researching possible causes for die offs or illnesses within a population. These biological samples are valuable for future disease surveillance, epidemiology and genetic studies.

WIL establishes CDFW standard protocols for collecting, reporting and archiving wildlife biological samples. These records are kept in databases maintained by WIL.

WIL collaborates with several agencies and universities for complex biological sample processing and testing that are not available to CDFW. Collaborative organizations include USGS National Wildlife Health Center, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, University of California (Davis) School of Veterinary Medicine and the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory.