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Reporting of wildlife diseases is important to build situational awareness regarding wildlife health, build national and global knowledge capacity, increase coordination among agencies, and integrate wildlife health data into other surveillance frameworks.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is the intergovernmental organization responsible for improving animal health and welfare worldwide. The OIE recognizes the threats to public, animal, and environmental health from wildlife diseases, and encourages all countries to increase capacity to conduct surveillance, early detection, and initiate appropriate responses to outbreaks and spread of diseases in wildlife. The OIE Working Group on Wildlife informs and advises the OIE on all health problems relating to wildlife animals. Through the information system WAHIS-Wild, the OIE provides surveillance information for wildlife diseases globally.
The National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) participates in reporting of surveillance information for wildlife diseases of interest to the OIE through two activities:
WHISPers is a partner-driven, web-based tool for sharing information about historic and ongoing wildlife mortality and morbidity events. WHISPers provides natural resource management partners and the public with timely, accurate information on where wildlife disease events are occurring or have occurred for better preparation and decision making. The recently redeveloped WHISPers portal allows partners to directly enter event information for real-time display and to share information with colleagues within and across agencies for better communication and event response coordination.
By submitting current and past wildlife mortality information to WHISPers, partners can contribute to the collective knowledge of wildlife disease occurrence in the United States. Data collected through WHISPers will also facilitate reporting on wildlife diseases of interest to the OIE and contribute to global wildlife disease surveillance information.
United States National Focal Point for Wildlife
NWHC's Center Director Jonathan Sleeman serves as the United States National Focal Point for Wildlife (NFPW). The NFPW is responsible for providing information to the Member Country’s Delegate for submission of the annual voluntary report for wildlife to the OIE concerning detection of the non-OIE listed wildlife diseases of interest.
How to Submit Wildlife Disease Surveillance Information
Natural resource management partners can contribute wildlife disease information to be submitted to the OIE by:
If you are a private individual or entity with a wildlife mortality event to report, please contact your state department of natural resources or state agency of game and fish.
Wildlife Disease Data Reported to the OIE