Australia’s largest mobile wildlife hospital joins national surveillance program

wildlife surveillance program

Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital has joined a national veterinary program providing vital input to wildlife medicine and enhancing Australia’s surveillance to monitor and track emerging diseases in wildlife.

The national program is coordinated by Wildlife Health Australia (WHA).

“The participating facilities are known as ‘sentinel clinics’ and they are incredibly important in sharing data and discoveries that support the health of native species,” CEO Dr Rupert Woods said.

“Vitally, they track emerging diseases that have the potential to affect human or environmental health, or animals in agriculture.”

Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital Foundation veterinarian Dr Bree Talbot said: “Our Hospital on wheels aims to mobilise the best wildlife veterinarians in the country to provide urgent care to threatened and injured Australian animals.

“One of the impressive things about the Northern Rivers is that we live in one of the most biodiverse regions in NSW, so we see such a vast array of different species, including some of our more iconic species including koalas, sea turtles and gliders. 

“Recently our vets assisted with a neonate dolphin rescue. We also work closely with Australian Seabird Rescue to treat a range of native birdlife.”

WHA’s Dr Woods added: “The addition of these sentinel clinics adds to the big picture of wildlife health. The wildlife hospitals will help to enhance existing surveillance programs across Australia. The information these private clinics feed through to us will complement what is already being collected through the existing sentinel clinics, as well as zoo wildlife hospitals, universities and wildlife carers.”


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