Enhanced Wildlife Disease Surveillance in California

Nearly six years ago, when we first set out to create WRMD, we set a few priority goals. We first wanted to provide wildlife rehabilitators with an amazing, simple, and free database to help them with their daily record keeping needs. We also wanted to create an interface to aggregate data across multiple organizations and to allow for the entire community to benefit from their shared data. We wanted a tool that could help wildlife rehabilitators identify emerging wildlife trends and communicate those trends out to a network of rehabilitators and other wildlife professionals. We are proud to introduce the beta release of WRMD Investigator and its pilot program Enhanced Wildlife Disease Surveillance in California!

Thank you once again to those centers who indicated their willingness to partner with us on the Enhanced Wildlife Disease Surveillance project! This week, we are launching the enhanced wildlife disease surveillance system using the new surveillance platform in WRMD.

This system is the first of its kind, to facilitate real-time monitoring of wildlife diseases and mortality events in California wildlife. Information arising from the enhanced surveillance will be made available to the network of collaborating wildlife rehabilitation centers in order to increase awareness of wildlife health events throughout the state.

The new platform to be used for the project aggregates data from our network of partner centers on a weekly basis and detects and alerts investigators to potential unusual wildlife health events (e.g., disease outbreaks). The data to be aggregated from participating centers includes admission date, reason for admission, location found, diagnosis, age, disposition, and clinical signs on initial exam.

WRMD Surveillance Investigator

Depending on the circumstances of the alert, the Wildlife Health Center and CDFW will be reaching out to partner centers to follow-up with collaborative investigations. Please note that this project doesn’t require extra effort for centers and personally identifiable information and information related to treatment/management of cases is not accessible to investigators or partners.

If your center is interested in participating in the study, it is not too late to join our list of partners. If interested, please email Devin at [email protected].

Threats to wild animals are increasing at an alarming rate. There is a critical need for increased monitoring of impacts of these threats on wildlife species, especially species that are difficult to monitor. In California, centers collectively rehabilitate ~ 500 different species of wild animals annually and are uniquely positioned to contribute significant information about threats to a diverse range of wildlife species in the state!

Thank you for your support and please let us know if your center is interested in participating in the study!
Devin Dombrowski, Wildlife Rehabilitation MD Developer
Wild Neighbors Database Project (WNDP)
Terra Kelly, Wildlife Veterinarian and Epidemiologist
Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center
University of California- Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
Nicole Carion, Statewide Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

March Update: Analytics and NWRA

Thank you again for your patience. I know that there are some features that are being highly anticipated and we are doing everything we can to
get them out.

After today, the Analytics section will be up and running again. We have put in a few graphs to start, basically the most asked for ones. So, go check them out.

Analytics

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  • There are multiple tabs available to Browse as you can see in the Overview snapshot.
    • Within the Overview section you can see the Total Patients per Day by Class
    • Top 10 Species that came in
    • Top 10 Cities patients come from
  • You will also notice near the top of the page the option to select the Date Admitted. Here you can choose your range, but you have to click Apply for it to be able to work. (IMPORTANT: Due to this addition of Apply, when you do searches there is now an Apply button as well.)

 

  • The next tab is the Species Overview Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 2.41.20 PM
    • Patients by Taxonomic Class
    • Patients by Taxonomic Group, we cheated on this one a little and it is really by lay group, we call it…

 

  • The next tab is the Disposition OverviewScreen Shot 2016-03-07 at 2.41.31 PM
    • Disposition Percentages
    • Survival Rates

 

This is just the beginning and if you have an ideas for more brilliant analytics please let us know. Please email me at [email protected].

 

We also, finally added back the graph weights which I apologize personally to all the squirrel parents out there for not getting that up sooner, but it is now operational and can be found at the top of the Treatment Log area.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 2.39.30 PM

 

NWRA:

I have a table at NWRA and if you are going to be there, please stop by and say Hi! Expect to get a picture taken with your name tag so that I can try to start identifying all the lovely users I spend so much time communicating with. Marie Travers who works with us and the AWESOME group Bird Ally X will be my backup when I am not at the table. We will have our WRMD shirts available when any donation over $30 is made to WRMD.

February WRMD Update

We have made it through the first month of the WRMD 3.0 update! What a month it was. Thank you everybody for your patience and we are sorry for any and all inconvenience the transition has caused. I know that reporting time is neigh upon us and we are the cause of some lateness due to trying to make sure everything matches up correctly.

Unidentified Species and Reporting

A few things to keep in mind while reporting is that in several cases the species are unidentified. It is critical that you choose from the drop down list provided. If you can not find the species you are looking for contact us, chances are it has an alternative name which can be found in wikipedia pretty easily. For example some was looking for Groundhog which was not in the database, being Groundhog’s day… I looked it up in wikipedia and saw that they are also known as a Woodchuck which was in the database. So, woodchuck could have been used instead. However, we are able to add the common name Groundhog to the species, so now you can use Woodchuck or Groundhog and both are the same. We will create a way in settings to look up your unidentified species, but as for now you can see that a species is unidentified by exporting everything from a list into excel. If you see a species_id number as 999999 it is an unidentified animal.

See the ExampleScreen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.52.09 AM

Customization and Reporting

Every state has their own requirement and we work hard to make sure that at the least you are able to record the necessary information required for your reports. Some states like New York have many custom settings to record information that is required by the state. So, sometimes we have to work out some of the bugs that come along with customization before everything works smoothly.

Custom Fields

The same thing goes for Custom Fields.Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.07.52 AM As many have now noticed you can only have 10 custom fields, anything beyond that will not allow for data to be recorded. We have worked with a few organizations to try and dwindle down their custom fields to a manageable level. Still, custom fields are a little more finicky because they have to format themselves in to everything else which is pre-formatted by WRMD and sometimes bugs occur. If you are in need of more custom fields, then please contact us so that we can help either dwindle down what you have or we will be able to do custom extensions for a charge. This will not launch until we are sure we have all the kinks worked out in WRMD 3.0. (Note: Custom fields in image are Sector and Aid Station)

WRMD Adding Back its Lost Features

It was really important to WRMD that we get the Heart of WRMD 3.0 working smoothly. In order to do this we did not move over all of the features that WRMD 2.0 had, such as WRMD Import and Necropsy among many other features. As, WRMD 3.0 is getting debugged and our customer service is slowing down, we can now focus on getting more of the WRMD 2.0 features into WRMD 3.0.

Necropsy

As of today the Necropsy extension will be available again. Thanks to some help from out users, it is beefed up substantially. Keep in mind this is designed for veterinarians, but can be used by any skilled Prosector.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.12.55 AM          Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.13.05 AM

Analytics

This month we will work on getting Analytics back on board as well. So, if you have a analytic that you would like to see in the analytics section that would be useful to all wildlife rehabilitators let us know and we will consider adding it in. Email us at [email protected] for suggestions.

Donations

Thanks to all that made donations in 2015!!!! If you have made donations in the year 2015 and need a donation receipt from us, please send me an email to the above email address with your name and address so I can send those out to you ASAP.