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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 the 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. To report a sick or dead wild bird, please use this survey form: Sick or Dead Bird Reporting Form. Or you can contact the Wildlife Switchboard to report a sick or dead wild mammal or wild bird by emailing or calling 608-267-0866. You will need to leave a message for the switchboard staff. In your message, please include:

  • the number of animals
  • the species (such as a 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 wild birds or three or more sick or dead wild 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.

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

  • banded loons, eagles and osprey
  • peregrine falcons
  • trumpeter swans that have leg bands or neck collars
  • greater prairie chickens 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
  • mustelids (unless found dead on a road) including American marten, badger, fisher, otter
  • snakes, especially those with skin lesions
  • bear, especially bear cubs
  • sick or dead elk or sick deer

To dispose of a wild animal carcass, use gloves or an inverted plastic bag and either bury the carcass on your property or double-bag it in a garbage bag and place it in your trash. Do not handle dead wildlife with bare hands.