Hunters contribute to wildlife health surveillance
This hunting season, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative is asking hunters to report unusual observations and submit samples.
The CWHC is an organization that seeks to monitor the health of wildlife across Canada. To achieve this we have targeted surveillance programs for priority diseases. By necessity, this monitoring only covers a small portion of our large and wilderness-rich country. To extend coverage, we rely on submissions and observations from the general public. As citizens who spend a significant amount of time out on the land, hunters are best placed to make critical observations of unusual behaviours in wildlife populations or mortality events. By reporting any unusual sightings, dead or sick animals, hunters can act as the front line of defense for disease outbreaks.
If you are hunting this season, be it for deer, moose or waterfowl, be on the lookout for anything unusual.
- Skinny animals, or animals that appear generally unwell
- Unusual parasites you have not seen before, or very large numbers of parasites
- Mass die-offs – if you see a large number of dead animals in one location
- Any behaviours you feel are strange
We want to know!
What you should do:
- Write down your observations including your location
- Take photos
- Call your local Wildlife or Conservation Officer or your regional CWHC centre
- Refer to the CWHC’s ‘Report and Submit’ website for important information on how to prepare a specimen for submission.
ALERT – CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE
Although currently only occurring in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Chronic Wasting Diseas (CWD) is a serious infectious disease of cervids. Having good information of the spread of the disease is critical. There is often no symptoms of CWD, but infected animals can be thin, have reduced fear of humans, or show other neurological symptoms such as stumbling or paralysis. Deer, moose and elk heads can be submitted for testing.
NOTE: importing deer, elk, moose or caribou parts from other jurisdictions is restricted in many provinces to prevent the spread of CWD. Check with your province for details.
For more information:
- CWHC CWD portal:
- BC’s chronic wasting disease information
- Alberta’s chronic wasting disease information
- Manitoba’s chronic wasting disease information
- Ontario’s chronic wasting disease
|British Columbia||BC Regional Fish and Wildlife Offices||CWHC BC
BC Animal Health Centre
|Alberta||Alberta Fish and Wildlife Offices||CWHC Alberta
|Saskatchewan||Report dead fish or wildlife to the closest Ministry of the Environment office or call: 1.800.567.4224||
|Manitoba||Manitoba Conservation offices|
|Ontario||Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources – Offices||CWHC Ontario/Nunavut
Customer Services site
1.450.773.8521 ext. 8346
|Maritimes||Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
Hotline: 1.800.565.2224New Brunswick Fish and Wildlife Branch OfficesPEI Conservation Officers or 1-866-368-4683Newfoundland Environment and Conservation – Wildlife Division
|Northwest Territories||GNWT ENR Regional Contact Information|
|Nunavut||Nunavut Department of Environment – Conservation Offices||CWHC Ontario/Nunavut