Wildlife Health Laboratory
1174 Snowy Range Road
Laramie, WY 82070
What We Do
The Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory is responsible for monitoring wildlife diseases throughout the state. Our main focus is brucellosis in elk and bison; chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, elk, and moose; and pneumonia in bighorn sheep; however, we strive to provide diagnostics for all species.
While many of the tests we use for disease diagnostics are completed in our laboratory, other testing is done in collaboration with the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory. This collaboration allows us access to specialists in the fields of virology, toxicology, parasitology, serology, bacteriology and pathology which gives us far better diagnostic capability. The Wildlife Health Laboratory also collaborates with multiple University, State, and Federal agencies on various wildlife disease projects.
The laboratory was started in the early 1960’s by Dr. Tom Thorne and was originally housed at the Sybille Research Unit. The importance of the laboratory was recognized early on by the State of Wyoming and the Wyoming legislature, whereby laboratory space was dedicated within the University of Wyoming Veterinary Laboratory complex constructed in 1984. The laboratory moved into its current location in 2010, when new laboratory space was added as part of the bio-safety level three additions.
Yearly Diagnostic Testing
Each year the laboratory conducts approximately 15,000 tests on over 7,500 samples; the majority of which are blood samples for brucellosis testing and tissue samples for chronic wasting disease testing.
Expertise in Diagnostics
The pride of the laboratory is the staff and their skills in wildlife disease diagnostics. Recently, the staff of the wildlife disease laboratory has been asked to train many state agencies in cutting edge diagnostic and sampling techniques for pneumonia in bighorn sheep. It is this dedication and commitment to the resource that has given the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Disease Laboratory a national reputation that is second to none.