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Wildlife health

The wildlife health program maintains a strong program of wildlife disease monitoring to detect the introduction of new diseases, changes in disease patterns and significant impacts on wildlife populations. The wildlife health team's mission is to investigate, manage and educate about disease and other health issues affecting wildlife to help conserve Wisconsin's rich wildlife heritage.

Report sick or dead wildlife

Help monitor the health of Wisconsin's wildlife by reporting your sightings of sick or dead wildlife to the DNR Wildlife Hotline by emailing or calling 608-267-0866. You will need to leave a message for hotline staff to return your call. In your message, please include:

  • the number of animals
  • the species (such as raccoon or Canada goose)
  • if they were sick or dead
  • the specific location where you saw them, including the county
  • your contact information

Observations of five or more sick or dead birds or three or more sick or dead mammals in one area are of particular interest. In addition to groups of wildlife, the DNR has disease monitoring programs for the specific wildlife species listed below. You do not need to report wildlife killed on a roadway.

Individual dead birds that are not on the list below can be discarded in your regular trash. To dispose of a bird carcass, use gloves or an inverted plastic bag to place the carcass in a garbage bag. Do not handle dead wildlife with bare hands.

Report observations of single sick or dead animals of the following:

  • banded loons, eagles and osprey
  • peregrine falcons
  • trumpeter swans that have leg bands or neck collars
  • greater prairie chickens, ruffed grouse and sharp-tailed grouse
  • bats: you may also enter reports of sick or dead bats electronically using the Reporting Form [exit DNR] found on the Wisconsin Bat Monitoring Program's website [exit DNR]
  • wolves
  • American marten
  • raccoons
  • snakes, especially those with skin lesions
  • bear, especially bear cubs
  • elk and deer