Working Group on Wildlife

Founded in 1994, this Working Group informs and advises the WOAH on all health problems relating to wild animals, whether in the wild or in captivity. It has prepared recommendations and oversees numerous scientific publications on the surveillance and control of the most important specific wildlife diseases. The Working Group comprises world-leading scientific experts in their subject areas.

Terms of Reference

1. The Working Group reports to the WOAH Director General who will transmit the report, or relevant parts of it, to the appropriate WOAH Specialist Commission.

2. Maintain global perspective and foresight on wildlife health and biodiversity and their interface with animal health and veterinary public health, in particular:

a)    wildlife health and disease issues of importance to WOAH, including emerging diseases, vector borne diseases and zoonosis;
b)    invasive species of potential importance to WOAH through their impacts on biodiversity;
c)    climate change impacts on animal health, wildlife health and biodiversity.

3. Assist the WOAH Director General, the Scientific Commission and other WOAH Specialist Commissions to assess risks and make risk management recommendations, including the development of WOAH Standards and Guidelines, associated with wildlife health and biodiversity.

4. Assist WOAH with training of WOAH National Focal Points for Wildlife and other efforts to support Member Countries, especially in building or improving their capacity to meet WOAH standards and obligations with respect to wildlife health and biodiversity and their interface with animal health and veterinary public health.

5. Assist WOAH to receive, record, and interpret information on wildlife disease, including emerging diseases, vector borne diseases, zoonosis and invasive species occurrence from official sources through WAHIS, and support an international network to provide information from non-official sources.

6. Address specific issues referred to the Working Group by the WOAH Director General, which may include matters recommended by Specialist Commissions, Members or the WOAH itself.

7. Assist WOAH to communicate and disseminate information about wildlife health and biodiversity, and represent WOAH as requested.

8. Assist WOAH to appropriately incorporate wildlife health and biodiversity issues in its educational and scientific programs and publications.

9. Assist WOAH in supporting the activities of Collaborating Centres on wildlife health and biodiversity.

10. Support WOAH in its interactions and collaborations with international organisations working on the animal, human and environmental health interface, and with the wider stakeholder community engaged on these issues.

Mode of Operation for the Working Group on Wildlife

I. The Working Group normally will hold annually one face-to-face mid-year meeting in Paris.

II. The Working Group will meet by teleconference two or more times each year. These teleconferences are open to representatives of the Programmes Department or other relevant Departments of WOAH.

III. The Working Group might use a secured Internet forum, when available, to manage discussion, document reviews and related matters and through which WOAH personnel also can access output from the Working Group’s activities.

IV. The Working Group President will maintain additional regular communication with the WOAH Prepardness and Resilience Department, and the WOAH World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department as appropriate.

V. The Working Group will revise its work plan annually.

VI. The operating language of the Working Group will be English.

  • Dra. Marcela Uhart

    Professor, University of California, Davis


  • Dr. Rupert Woods

    Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Health Australia


  • Prof. Koichi Murata

    Professor, Department of Wildlife Science, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University


  • Dr. Markus Hofmeyr

    Program Officer, Environment Programme, Wildlife Conservation & Trade


  • Dr. Jonathan Sleeman

    Center Director, National Wildlife Health Center


  • Dr. William B. Karesh

    Executive Vice President for Health and Policy, EcoHealth Alliance


December2023Wildlife Working Group Report
June 2023 Wildlife Working Group Report
December 2022Wildlife Working Group Report
June 2022Wildlife Working Group Report
December 2021Wildlife Working Group Report
June 2021Wildlife Working Group Report
December 2020Wildlife Working Group Report
March 2020Adapted Procedure – World Assembly, May 2020
December 201887th General Session – World Assembly, 26-31 May 2019
December 201786th General Session – World Assembly, 20-25 May 2018
November 201685th General Session – World Assembly, 21-26 May 2017
Sept-Oct. 201584th General Session – World Assembly, 22-27 May 2016
November 201483rd General Session – World Assembly, 24-29 May 2015
November 201382nd General Session – World Assembly, 25-30 May 2014
November 201281st General Session – World Assembly, 26-31 May 2013
November 201180th General Session – World Assembly, 20-25 May 2012
October 201079th General Session – World Assembly, 22-27 May 2011
February 201078th General Session – World Assembly, 23-28 May 2010
January 200977th General Session International Committee, 24-29 May 2009
January 200876th General Session International Committee, 25-30 May 2008
February 200775th General Session International Committee, 20-25 May 2007
February 200674th General Session International Committee, 21-26 May 2006
February 200573rd General Session International Committee, 22-27 May 2005
February 200472nd General Session International Committee, 23-28 May 2004
February 200371st General Session International Committee, 18-23 May 2003
February 200270th General Session International Committee, 26-31 May 2002
March 200169th General Session International Committee, 27 May-1 june 2001
April 200068th General Session International Committee, 21-26 May 2000

Contact: Preparedness and Resilience Department