Hunters contribute to wildlife health surveillance

wtd - hg (1 of 1)-27This 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!

Ghost moose: hair loss caused by winter tick infestation Photo credit:

Ghost moose: hair loss caused by winter tick infestation
Photo credit:

What you should do:


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:



Provincial/Territorial Contact

CWHC Contact

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

CWHC Western/Northern


Manitoba Manitoba Conservation offices 
Ontario Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources – Offices CWHC Ontario/Nunavut

Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs

Customer Services site

CWHC Québec
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
CWHC Atlantic

Environment Yukon

District Conservation Officer Numbers

CWHC Western/Northern
Northwest Territories GNWT ENR Regional Contact Information
Nunavut Nunavut Department of Environment – Conservation Offices CWHC Ontario/Nunavut

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