eWHIS - Wildlife Health Information System

WHA administers the national electronic Wildlife Health Information System (eWHIS) database, a web-enabled, secure database capturing information relating to wildlife health surveillance and disease investigation in Australia.

WHA receives wildlife health data from sources both within governments (including state and territory agricultural, environment and health agencies) and from sources outside of governments (such as university veterinary clinics and pathology departments, zoo wildlife hospitals and private veterinary practitioners). Other sources include the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health, specific targeted projects such as the avian influenza wild bird surveillance program, and national datasets such as Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) testing. WHA collates and moderates the data in eWHIS to ensure that it is as accurate as possible.

Specific components of Australia's wildlife health surveillance system that contribute data to eWHIS include the WHA Coordinator Group and the Sentinel Surveillance Program (zoos, veterinary clinics and universities).

The over-arching purpose of eWHIS is the protection of human health, domestic animal health and biodiversity. Data in eWHIS assists in identification of unusual and emerging wildlife diseases, management of disease outbreaks, development of policy on wildlife disease, and in meeting Australia’s national and international reporting commitments.

Information from eWHIS is used in a variety of outputs. Click here for surveillance reports and publications that have used eWHIS data. 

Requests for Data in eWHIS

WHA occasionally receives requests for data. Data in the national electronic Wildlife Health Information System (eWHIS) is managed according to the Wildlife Health Australia (WHA) Data Management Policy. Requests for data held in eWHIS may be submitted for specific projects, for example for use in research projects, a disease risk assessment or a publication. Unfortunately not all data requests can be processed due to competing priorities.

WHA will need to obtain approval from individual data submitters for use of information, as ownership of data in eWHIS remains with the data submitter. The timeframe for processing requests is therefore dependent on responses from external partners.

The information you need may also be available in WHA’s fact sheets or incident information.

If you are interested in submitting a data request, please contact WHA and provide a brief overview of the information or data required, the project, any time constraints, and the proposed use of the data. WHA will then be in touch regarding the next steps, which may include completion of a detailed data request form by the applicant, obtaining approval for release of the data from the data submitter(s) or owner(s), consideration of appropriate acknowledgement, and the applicant providing a copy of the report, thesis or paper before publication, where appropriate.

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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.