What to Do If You Find:
- Orphaned or abandoned animals
Chances are the parent(s) are nearby. Visit our Care of Young Wildlife page.
- Injured animals
-Call your local DEC Regional Wildlife Office (during office hours only) or contact a wildlife rehabilitator near you
-Call the Environmental Conservation Officers dispatch line at 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267) or contact a wildlife rehabilitator near you.
- Dead animals
Review DEC's reporting instructions.
Instructions for Shipping Eagles to the NYSDEC Wildlife Health Unit (PDF)
- Sick or diseased animals
Email DEC's Wildlife Bureau or Wildlife Health Unit (it is helpful to submit a photo with your description if possible).
- Wild animals on personal property
Find out more about nuisance wildlife species, and the steps DEC recommends you take.
- Animals with rabies
Visit NYS Department of Health (DOH) rabies webpage for more information.
- Domestic animals caught in traps
Call your local police department.
Managing and Diagnosing Wildlife Disease
New York State Wildlife Health Program
The New York State Cooperative Wildlife Health Program (WHP) is a partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Bureau of Wildlife and Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory that works to safeguard the long-term health of the wildlife populations of New York. The Lab is a member of the Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative, which provides services, training, and support to state and federal agencies. The WHP is funded, in part, with monies from the Federal Aid In Wildlife Restoration Grant (NY W-178-R-2 NYS Wildlife Health).
Our laboratories in Albany and Ithaca conduct:
- Routine surveillance
- In depth research
- Staff training
- Data analysis to support NYSDEC's mission
We work to have strong relationships with partners in human and domestic animal health to address issues common to all under the One Health philosophy.
Our program promotes the health and long term sustainability of wildlife populations through integration of the fields of wildlife ecology, wildlife management, and veterinary medicine. A major part of what we do is examine submitted animals to determine the cause of death. This type of surveillance helps us rapidly detect new diseases as well as understand how to manage what is already here. Information is regularly shared with our partners in the Departments of Health and Agriculture and Markets.
The Wildlife Health Program Strategic Plan 2021-2026 (PDF) outlines the program initiatives, grounded in the "One Health" concept that identifies wildlife, domestic animal, and human health as closely interwoven.
The main components of the program will focus on:
- Continuing to improve disease surveillance
- Provide targeted staff training and support
- Develop research-based solutions
Wildlife Health Unit at the Wildlife Resources Center
DEC's Wildlife Health Unit (WHU) at the Wildlife Resources Center is a part of the Wildlife Health Program that is responsible for handling deceased animals for examining, diagnosing, monitoring and (when needed) controlling the causes of sickness and death in New York State's amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Other duties of the WHU include:
- Providing forensic wildlife pathology services to DEC's law enforcement and other agencies
- Performing field investigations related to the impact of environmental contamination (e.g. oil spills, industrial discharges, pesticide use and misuse, hazardous waste sites, and landfills) on wildlife
- Conducting original research in the fields of wildlife pathology, physiology, and toxicology
The WHU at the Wildlife Resources Center is located at 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY, 12054
Telephone: (518) 478-2203
Email: [email protected]