Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Announcing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – Wildlife Health Event Reporter (GLRI-WHER)!

Calling all beachcombers! Get involved in an effort to improve the health of the Great Lakes!



If you are a concerned citizen who spends time near-shore around the Great Lakes in the US and in Canada, or if you are a coordinator with an established volunteer network that can expand their observational power, please consider sharing your observations of injured/dead animals or algal blooms using the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – Wildlife Health Event Reporter (GLRI- WHER;


In the interest of protecting waterfowl and other wildlife, scientists working in state, provincial, federal, academic and non-profit agencies are looking for your help to identify events that could be important in research on avian botulism and algal bloom outbreaks. Botulism has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of birds in the Great Lakes and events have been increasing in recent years. For a healthy Great Lakes ecosystem, do your part imageand share what you see!


GLRI-WHER was developed by the Wildlife Data Integration Network (WDIN), a program of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in partnership with the USGS National Wildlife Health Center. Project support was provided through a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at the Environmental Protection Agency (


Geographically specific alerts and contacts for local agency reporting are provided with each report, when available. All reports from Canada are shared with our partners at the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (, and from the US at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (


Citizen scientists involved in existing reporting efforts should continue to follow their program's protocols - get in touch if you would like to find out how to get your program's data included in the GLRI-WHER.


Find out more about the GLRI-WHER application online at Email questions to

Photo Credit: USFWS

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