Report death or illness in garden wildlife

Thank you for choosing to report an incident of illness or death in garden wildlife.

Selecting continue below will take you to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Online Surveys which hosts the Garden Wildlife Health (GWH) database. You will be able to provide information about the incident and receive any feedback.

It will take around ten minutes to set up a garden, pond or other site and register your first incident.  Adding future incidents to this garden will be quicker once the original set up is complete.

Please note: We have provided a manual for the process below to help you through the registration. The continue link should open automatically in a new tab/window so please don’t hesitate to refer to this manual and the links on the left throughout the reporting process.

Reporting Guide

1. Register as a user

To report death or illness in garden wildlife you will need to be a registered Garden Wildlife Health user. Registration and reporting is free and should take less than 15 minutes. Go here to register. If you have any difficulties during the registration process, please call 0207 449 6685 during normal office hours.

  • If you have never used BTO Online Surveys, select option 1.a. to register as a GWH user.
  • If you have used BTO Online Surveys before (such as Garden BirdWatch) but not GWH, select option 1.b. to add GWH to your list of active surveys.
  • If you have successfully registered as a GWH user,  use option 2 to login.

2. Add a site

Once registered, you will be asked to add a site (normally a garden) and register a pond (optional). This tells us where you are and what kind of environment the incident was observed in.

3. Report a disease incident

You can then inform us of sick or dead wildlife that you have observed in your garden using a Disease Incident Report (DIR). DIRs are added to existing sites. There is no limit on the number of DIRs you can submit. You can see a list of species we are currently monitoring here. The DIR records the species, duration and type of symptoms observed and allows you to upload digitised photographs. This information contributes to a national database that provides invaluable information on wildlife disease.

4. Submit a carcass

When you report a disease incident, we will ask if you have a freshly dead wild animal available and if you are willing to submit it for post-mortem examination. If this is the case, the GWH vets will be notified by email and respond to you normally within 24 hours (up to 72 hours delay will occur over the weekend).  The species we are currently monitoring include amphibians, reptiles, garden birds and hedgehogs.  Unfortunately we cannot examine all reported carcasses due to resource limitations. To submit a carcass you will need to follow strict packaging and labeling instructions under veterinary direction which will be provided by email once a carcass is accepted for submission. A report of the post-mortem examination and any testing performed will be relayed to you by email once the results become available.