Reporting Sick or Useless Wildlife

Wildlife illness surveillance, prevention, and management are essential elements for safeguarding Delaware’s residents, wildlife, pets, and livestock. Citizen stories assist state biologists monitor wildlife populations in Delaware.

Should you see sick wildlife, or useless wildlife the place it appears to be like like the reason for demise is an sickness, please report it to the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. Should you see 5 or extra sick or useless wild animals on the identical location, please additionally name division workers at 302-735-3600 (Ext. 2).

Observe: the division doesn’t have the workers or assets to reply to each report of injured or distressed wildlife. It doesn’t rehabilitate wildlife. The state points permits to educated volunteers with expertise rehabilitating wildlife and returning native animals to the wild. Should you want a wildlife rehabilitator, please contact the Delaware Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators and Educators.


Which Animals to Report

For these stories, wildlife consists of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Please don’t report sick or useless pets, livestock or aquatic species corresponding to fish or crabs.

Should you see 5 or extra sick or useless fish, please make a fish kill report back to the DNREC Fisheries Part.

For animal well being emergencies involving livestock or poultry, contact the Delaware Division of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Well being Part at 302-698-4500 (after hours 302-233-1480).


Please be Cautious

Don’t deal with sick or useless wildlife to keep away from publicity to sickness. If in case you have to take action, please use protecting gear, corresponding to gloves, and wash your palms with cleaning soap and water instantly afterward. If in case you have dealt with sick or useless wildlife with out gloves or safety, please contact your well being care supplier to evaluate your danger of creating the illness.

Should you suppose you will have been bitten by, scratched by or encountered a wild animal or feral cat or canine which may be rabid, you need to instantly contact your well being care supplier or name the Division of Public Well being Rabies Program, at 302-744-4995.


In case your pet or livestock has been bitten, contact your personal veterinarian to have your pet examined and handled. And please report the publicity to the Delaware Division of Agriculture.

Wildlife Illnesses Monitored in Delaware

Avian Influenza

Avian influenza (AI), generally generally known as “bird flu,” is a respiratory illness of birds attributable to an influenza Kind A virus. These viruses can infect poultry (chickens, geese, quail, pheasants, guinea fowl and turkeys) and a few wild chicken species (corresponding to geese, swans, geese, shorebirds, hawks and owls) however are recognized to influence poultry and wild birds in numerous methods.


Extremely pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) spreads quickly, sometimes by migratory birds, and is deadly to chickens and turkeys. The migratory birds that sometimes unfold extremely pathogenic avian influenza are typically far much less affected by the virus. There may be minimal danger to public well being, and there have been no human circumstances of HPAI detected in the USA.

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) sometimes causes minor illness or no noticeable indicators of illness and infrequently deadly in birds. There have been 4 laboratory-confirmed circumstances of LPAI A (H7N2) virus an infection in folks in the USA.

Persistent Losing Illness

Chronic Wasting Disease is a illness of the mind and nervous system in family members Cervidae (deer, elk or moose). It has not been present in Delaware however has been discovered in additional than half the states and a number of other Canadian provinces. State wildlife officers are taking steps to keep away from its unfold into Delaware.

White-Nostril Syndrome

White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a illness that causes mass die-offs of bats at hibernation websites, with mortality charges of 90 to 100% at some areas. It was confirmed in the USA in 2006 and in Delaware in 2012. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates 5.6 to six.7 million bats died from WNS within the first seven years.

Avian Mortality Occasion

In 2021, a mysterious sickness and mortality occasion affecting songbirds occurred all through the mid-Atlantic area, spurring a brief advisory to discontinue the usage of chicken feeders and baths. Though this mortality occasion ended, submitted stories at this webpage would assist us decide if the sickness returned or assist us determine different wildlife illness occasions.


Rabies is a deadly but preventable viral illness present in mammals. It’s primarily unfold by the chew of an contaminated animal; nonetheless, it will also be transmitted by scratches or open wounds uncovered to saliva or mind/nervous system tissue of an contaminated animal. All mammals can get rabies; nonetheless, the first reservoirs in Delaware are raccoons, cats, foxes, bats and skunks. An animal contaminated with rabies can transmit the virus for as much as ten days earlier than displaying signs.


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