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WILDLIFE HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM

If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it fall? If an animal dies is it recorded?

Until now, the answer is often no, and there is rarely a uniform or consistent record of what is happening to wildlife where health, disease, and death are concerned.  So just like the tree falling, the debate about wildlife mortality continues. But unlike the tree, there is a solution. With the use of technology, we can gather data on diseases and deaths, and with this information begin to draw conclusions and see patterns.

​What seems simple has been complicated for several reasons, one among them being the lack of a simple-to-use database that allows wildlife professionals to collect, store and share information from the field. Most health records have been kept on individual computers or collected and filed on paper, making them easy to lose or misinterpret due to missing the full picture.

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VIEW’s Wildlife Health Information System (WHIS) has changed this. It is the first wildlife health medical record database platform developed and tailored to document endangered wildlife and for wildlife professionals to use in the field.

 

Wildlife mortality has many implications – therefore, knowing, whenever possible, the location, the cause, health status, and even species-specific impacts could have a monumental impact on the future survival of any individual animal or species.  With the use of WHIS, wildlife professionals around the world can easily collect and share information about sick or dying animals, disease, treatment, and prevention.

WHY NOW?

For decades, we have seen species rise into the threatened or endangered category or worse, go extinct due to diseases that have wiped out their populations quickly. We need to stop waiting and start acting now.  Conservation medicine not only answers the question of why these animals are dying but can determine the clear treatment and preventive measures to address the next die-off. 

75% of new and emerging diseases are shared between humans and animals.

Now, more than ever, everyone around the globe is seeing the impact of unmonitored diseases shared (zoonotic). COVID-19 is not the only threatening disease shared between wildlife and people. There needs to be a system installed that allows the recording of wildlife health statuses and can help us prevent future outbreaks and pandemics.

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WHIS is a convenient and systematic database where data can be stored, compiled, analyzed, and shared. All WHIS data is collected by authorized wildlife professionals when an animal is:

  • brought into a wildlife facility for treatment.

  • captured for conflict or management reasons.

  • found dead and a post-mortem examination (PME) is performed.

The collected information is then processed and entered into WHIS by designated, trained individuals. WHIS is structured to capture data on individual animals identified through a unique identifier/microchip, as well as basic information such as species, gender, age, and the location is recorded. This information is then tagged to all subsequent data points associated with that animal. Biological samples are linked to the animal’s unique identity through a barcoding system. Health data is entered on a Medical History form and/or a PME form. 

 

Standard report modules are available to generate paper or electronic reports, such as laboratory and necropsy results. In addition, specific queries can be made to generate customized reports based on any of the database parameters.

HOW WHIS WORKS