University Based Wildlife Disease Surveillance

The WHA Universities Focus Group has previously recognised the value of formalising the contribution of universities to Australia’s national framework for wildlife disease surveillance. 

Based on the successful model of the Zoo Based Wildlife Disease Surveillance Program, seven Australian universities took part in a one year pilot project exploring how universities could potentially enhance the national capacity for wildlife disease surveillance. A primary aim was to capture wildlife disease information currently being generated by university veterinary clinics and pathology departments into national electronic Wildlife Health Information System (eWHIS). 

Following an independent review of the one year pilot project, two universities (the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland) have joined with the Zoo and Sentinel Clinic Wildlife Disease Surveillance Program. James Cook University, Murdoch University, the University of Adelaide, Charles Sturt University and the University of Sydney continue to contribute to Australia’s wildlife disease surveillance program via regular teleconferences with staff at WHA. 

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

Seven universities contribute to Australia’s national framework for wildlife disease surveillance: Charles Sturt University, James Cook University, Murdoch University, the University of Adelaide, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland; and the University of Sydney.

Media release about the pilot project: Universities help with wildlife health - 19 Jan 2016