Since 1979, the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians has been dedicated to the health, conservation, management, and welfare of wildlife. 

Active membership in the AAWV is open to graduates of colleges or schools of veterinary medicine, as well as wildlife professionals who support the objectives of the AAWV and work with, or have an interest in, the application of veterinary medicine to the issues facing free-ranging wildlife. Students in colleges or schools of veterinary medicine are also eligible for membership. Become a member today!

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Students: Browse externships, educational offerings, and access chapter information

Our History

From the beginning…

The American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians was formed in 1979 by a small group of veterinarians with a common interest in free-ranging wildlife. Initially, most members worked for government wildlife management agencies. But, with the rise of conservation biology and a better societal appreciation for what veterinarians can bring to wildlife health and conservation, current AAWV members work at academic institutions, in domestic animal private practice, at zoos and aquaria, in wildlife rehabilitation facilities, and with state/provincial and federal agencies. Members engage in wildlife health research, clinical medicine, teaching, disease surveillance, regulatory work, and administration.

Our Mission

What we do…

The mission objectives of the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians are:

  • To enhance the contribution of veterinary medicine to the health, conservation, management and welfare of wildlife.
  • To encourage and promote a philosophy of animal population management and preventive medicine as it relates to free-ranging species.
  • To encourage an increased emphasis in colleges of veterinary medicine relative to conservation, management and preventive medicine in free-ranging species.
  • To encourage the recognition of disease syndromes in their broadest sense as potentially influenced by habitat successions, alterations, and pollution.
  • To educate and gain rapport with governmental agencies and wildlife resource interest groups about the importance of wildlife preventive medicine and disease in relation to the wildlife resource and domestic species.
  • To educate and inform governmental agencies and wildlife resource interest groups of support and educational services which may be provided by wildlife veterinarians.
  • To promote and encourage the utilization of veterinarians in the field of wildlife resource management, conservation, health, service, and research.
  • To encourage cooperative efforts among conservation and resource management professionals and wildlife veterinarians.
  • To stress the importance of the interrelationships of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife as reservoirs of disease.
  • To help establish and work for continuing education programs for wildlife veterinarians.