California Department of Fish and Wildlife

WIL Health and Mortality Monitoring and Investigation of Wildlife Diseases

Bighorn Sheep Capture

WIL personnel have played a critical role in expanding the knowledge of wildlife infectious and non-infectious diseases, the effect of disease on wildlife populations, and health monitoring for the successful reintroduction of elk, bighorn sheep, and antelope to their native ranges.

WIL conducts disease surveillance and health monitoring on wildlife, feral domestic ducks and geese, exotic cervids, and game farm species using serology and prepares reports of laboratory findings. The data generated is used to determine population trends, health status, demographics, and habitat use information. This information is utilized not only by CDFW, but by federal, state, county, and local agencies, the University of California, and other interested parties across the United States and Canada. WIL publishes results of disease investigations in appropriate scientific journals.

Serum and other valuable biological samples collected from wildlife are maintained by the WIL for disease investigations performed by WIL personnel and other researchers.

WIL consults with the public and with CDFW personnel regarding wildlife disease losses; coordinates wildlife disease investigations with the US Department of Agriculture, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Department of Health Services, other states wildlife agencies, universities, and a variety of other federal and state agencies. WIL staff are active collaborators with university researchers.

WIL represents CDFW on matters regarding wildlife health on various state, federal, and professional veterinary committees including but not limited to: California Veterinary Medical Association, Western Wildlife Health Cooperative, Regional Emergency Animal Disease Eradication Organization, and United States Animal Health Association.