U.S. Geological Survey - Environmental Health

National Wildlife Health Center — Madison, Wisconsin

About the Laboratory

The National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) provides the services of board-certified veterinary pathologists specializing in gross and microscopic assessment of animal tissues to help understand the impacts of contaminants on wildlife species. The NWHC also offers real-time reporting of wildlife mortality events and maintains an extensive database of diagnostic and epidemiological information on wildlife health dating from the 1970's.

Two scientists using a multi-headed microscope
A multi-headed teaching microscope lets wildlife pathologists view the same histopathology slides. Photo Credit: USGS.
Wildlife pathologist examining a Cassin's auklet
A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) wildlife pathologist examines a Cassin's auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) in the necropsy laboratory at the USGS NWHC. Photo Credit: USGS.

Key Analytical Capabilities

  • Diagnostic and research necropsy capability
  • Light microscopy
  • Special microscopy techniques (for example immunohistochemistry)
  • Digital image analysis
  • Pathology consultation and interpretation
  • Wildlife epidemiology expertise
Microscopic photo of liver vacuoles in a zebra finch
Liver vacuoles in a zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) treated with the neonicotinoid clothianidin. Photo Credit: Julia Lankton, USGS.

Key Instrumentation

  • 5300 square foot biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) necropsy facility
  • BSL-3 animal research facilities
  • State-of-the-art light microscopes and digital image software


  Get More Information on Our Capabilities


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Page Last Modified: 17-Apr-2018 @ 05:54:12 PM EDT