Help us shape surveillance

Wildlife Health Australia are very keen for veterinary professionals, including vets, nurses and practice managers from all types of clinics, to complete this short 5 minute survey! Your input will help us design an expanded wildlife disease surveillance network.

Wildlife Health Australia (WHA) coordinates a Sentinel Wildlife Disease Surveillance Program to capture information on free-ranging and rehabilitation wildlife cases across Australia. The information captured through this program is used to better understand disease threats to biodiversity, human health, and livestock, and contributes to the national picture of wildlife health. As well as capturing valuable data, the program creates a network that facilitates communication.

WHA is keen to expand the scope of the Program to engage more broadly with veterinarians. This survey will help WHA to gauge the level of interest, capacity, motivation, and barriers for additional vet practices to participate in the Sentinel Wildlife Disease Surveillance Program. The survey will also help WHA gauge the level of interest and barriers to participate in different types of wildlife disease surveillance network activities, such as a shared communication platform, access to expertise or resources, or involvement in training or knowledge sharing webinars.

We are asking for people who work in veterinary practices across Australia to complete a survey to tell us about your wildlife work and your interest in, and capacity to be involved in, the national wildlife disease surveillance system. All responses are anonymous. Press here to take the survey:</

Sentinel Surveillance

Wildlife Health Australia coordinates a Sentinel Surveillance Program that integrates zoos, veterinary clinics and universities.

The Sentinel Surveillance program captures information on free-ranging and rehabilitation wildlife cases from around the country. Now coordinated as a collective group by WHA, the Zoo Based Surveillance Program, the Sentinel Clinic Surveillance Program, and the University Based Surveillance Program began in 2010, 2014 and 2016 respectively. Each participating organisation has one or more surveillance coordinators, usually veterinarians or veterinary nurses, who select and enter wildlife disease cases directly into the eWHIS database.

In addition to data entry, surveillance coordinators are brought together via four program meetings annually. The information captured through this program is used to better understand disease threats to biodiversity, human health and livestock, and contributes to our national picture of wildlife health. This is an invaluable surveillance effort providing data that may not be otherwise available, while creating a network that facilitates communication between veterinarians and the WHA Coordinators

The Sentinel Surveillance Program organisations see over 60,000 free-ranging wildlife cases every year and have made over 4,700 eWHIS database entries since the programs began.

Sentinel Clinics


Sentinel Clinics


Sentinel Surveillance
Support WHA

Wildlife Health Australia (WHA) leads national action to respond to emerging health issues affecting Australia’s wildlife. Today, you can join us, donate to our conservation projects or follow us to protect our unique and precious wildlife.

koala snuggled with its baby in tree
Join the Community!

Wildlife Health Australia aims to link, inform and support people and organisations who work with or have an interest in wildlife health across Australia through technical advice, facilitation, communications and professional support.

Zoo Based Surveillance 

The Zoo Based Surveillance Program, a collaboration between WHA and the Zoo and Aquarium Association, was established in 2010 and includes ten zoo-based veterinary hospitals seeing free-ranging wildlife. Over 3,300 records from 250 different species have been entered by the zoos since the program began.

The nine participating zoos, who see over 27,000 free-ranging wildlife cases every year:

    • Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
    • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
    • Healesville Sanctuary
    • Melbourne Zoo
    • Perth Zoo
    • Sea World
    • Taronga Zoo
    • Taronga Western Plains Zoo
    • Zoos South Australia
A paper was published describing the program:
An article promoting the program was published by the Zoo and Aquarium Association to mark World Wildlife Day on March 3rd 2023:
Sentinel Clinic Surveillance

The Sentinel Clinic Surveillance Program commenced in 2014 and now includes 10 key wildlife veterinary clinics that have a high wildlife caseload or that expand the geographic and species coverage of the surveillance system. Participating clinics, which see over 35,000 free-ranging wildlife cases each year, are currently:

      • Adelaide Koala & Wildlife Centre
      • The Ark Animal Hospital, Darwin
      • Bonorong Wildlife Sancturay, Hobart
      • Boongarry Veterinary Services, Cairns
      • Broome Veterinary Hospital
      • Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital
      • Kimberley Vet Centre, Kununurra
      • Lort Smith Animal Hospital, Melbourne
      • RSPCA QLD Wildlife Hospital, Wacol and Eumundi
      • WA Wildlife, Perth.


University Based Surveillance

The University Based Surveillance Program consists of five universities that joined the core surveillance program between 2016 and 2023:

  • James Cook University,
  • Murdoch University,
  • the University of Melbourne,
  • the University of Queensland and,
  • the University of Sydney.

Two more universities also contribute through regular meetings with WHA.

  • Charles Sturt University and,
  • the University of Adelaide.

The university sector's involvement into WHA’s wildlife health surveillance system further facilitates the direct linkage of recognised experts working within Australia’s universities with the national framework and wildlife practitioners.