White-tailed Deer

About Us

The Wildlife Futures Program, a science-based, wildlife health program serves to increase disease surveillance, management and research to better protect wildlife across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond.

The Wildlife Futures Program provides:

The Wildlife Futures Program's 12 employees (one of them working full-time out of the Game Commission’s Harrisburg headquarters) are dedicated to addressing wildlife diseases.

Benefits include:

  • The ability to better define wildlife diseases, their impacts, and how we can manage them
  • Freeing up agency biologists to spend more time focusing on managing wildlife populations
  • The coordination of disease responses across agencies, our hunting community, and the general public

For hunters who submit samples from deer they harvest for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing, the partnership will provide much faster turnaround for test results – about 10 to 21 days – as well as the ability to track test results online.

Our Goals

  • Establish Research and Surveillance Programs

    Establish state-wide, innovative research and surveillance programs to identify diseases with the potential to infect wildlife, livestock, poultry, companion animals, and humans.

  • Develop a Wildlife Health Information System

    Develop and maintain a comprehensive wildlife health information system including a database of wildlife health cases, mapping, and data analysis to integrate real-time, state-wide disease response.

  • Facilitate Cross-Agency Communication

    Facilitate cross-agency communication of existing and emerging wildlife disease, translate applied-research for science and technical publication, and build an external communications platform to ensure that timely information is available to the public.

  • Enhance Capacity through Training

    Enhance technical and staff capacity through a comprehensive training and development program on disease surveillance, management, and animal health systems.