What to do with dead wildlife
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​I found dead wildlife, what do I do?

Small deceased wild animals found on private property can be buried or bagged and put in the garbage. Do not touch dead wildlife with your bare hands – use disposable gloves or a tool – and never put a dead animal in compost or green bins. For larger animals on private property, it may be your responsibility to dispose of them, and you may need to contact a waste removal company for help. Contact your local municipality for more information.

For deceased animals found on public land, contact your local animal control or public works office for removal.

If there is more than one deceased animal in the same area, or if you suspect disease, consult the provincial government website for reporting instructions for a variety of species including amphibians, bats, birds, small mammals, large mammals, and marine mammals.

Dead bird reporting

Birds are susceptible to diseases such as West Nile virus and avian influenza. To monitor bird health in British Columbia, reports of sick and dead wild birds are of interest to federal and provincial government agencies. The B.C. Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Protocol & Avian Influenza Surveillance Program coordinates the surveillance of diseases and deaths throughout the province.

Report sightings of dead wild birds by reading the Wild Bird Mortality & Avian Influenza Surveillance Program (PDF) information sheet and calling 1-866-431-BIRD (2473).

Sick or injured birds should be taken to a permitted wildlife rehabilitation centre as soon as possible. Read more about how to rescue a wild animal. Still need help? Contact your local wildlife rehabilitation centre or the BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722 for advice about how to help sick or injured birds.

Learn more about HPAI and ways to reduce transmission in your own backyard.

Bird bands

If you find a dead bird with a band or coloured markers, record the letters and numbers and contact the Wild Bird Mortality & Avian Influenza Surveillance Program at 1-866-431-BIRD (2473).

The North American Bird Banding Program collects information on the distribution and movement of species to help wildlife scientists monitor and conserve migratory bird populations. You can contribute by also reporting the band number online at reportband.gov or by calling 1-800-327-BAND (2263) toll-free to leave a message.

Pigeons are not banded as part of the North American Bird Banding Program. A pigeon with a leg band is likely a domestic pigeon and their band will have letters representing a racing association who can help to get in touch with the owner. Learn more about bird banding.

Photo credit: Alyssa H (left) and Alan Clarke (right)