What We Do Wildlife Health Australia (WHA) is the independent coordinating body for wildlife health in Australia. It provides leadership through strong partnerships for national action supporting wildlife health.

The health of Australia’s wildlife, animals in agriculture, domestic animals and its human population are all fundamentally linked. Many diseases that can affect humans and livestock often emerge in wildlife, and they are increasing. Effective surveillance of wildlife health is therefore vital to human health, agriculture, the environment and biodiversity in Australia.

WHA manages the national surveillance program for diseases in wildlife and facilitates investigations into emerging wildlife health issues. It prioritises and delivers vital surveillance information and research to decision-makers in key state, territory and federal agencies to support effective wildlife strategies and preparedness for emergency disease events.


In doing this, WHA coordinates and collaborates with many stakeholders that undertake surveillance of wildlife health, through partnerships with over 45 government and non-government agencies including environment, health and biosecurity agencies, zoo-based hospitals, sentinel veterinary and university clinics and pathology departments.

During health and disease incidents involving wildlife, our role is one of communication, coordination, linkage and providing technical information to assist response agencies and stakeholders.

Wildlife can also act as indicators of environmental health where other factors are at play, such as toxins or chemical contamination. In monitoring wildlife health, WHA also indirectly monitors the health of ecosystems, domestic animals, people and communities.

The presence or absence of disease in animals can impact Australia’s trade-status with overseas partners. To avoid potentially devastating trade shocks, we need to understand the potential for disease to be transmitted across species and how to prevent exposure of domestic animals to the risks.

The challenges of sustaining healthy wildlife in Australia is becoming greater with changing land use, climate change and as societal practices bring wildlife, livestock and people into closer contact.

Now, more than ever, it is crucial for Wildlife Health Australia to provide coordinated national action to support healthy wildlife.


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
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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.