The WCWRU was established in 1972 to facilitate cooperation between the partners and to conduct programs of research and education related to fish and wildlife resource management. The major objectives of the WCWRU are:
conduct and direct research related to the solution of problems of mutual concern related to wildlife and their habitats;
direct and guide the training of students in wildlife science at the graduate level and provide in-service training for agency employees;
supply technical advice and assistance to Federal, State, and private conservation agencies in the management of wildlife resources;
provide conservation education through publications, correspondence, lectures, and demonstrations.
The operations of the Unit are governed by a formal Cooperative Agreement signed by the four format cooperators. WCWRU office are located on the University of Wisconsin Campus in Madison. The Leader and Assistant Leader of the WCWRU are, by appointment, members of the graduate Faculty of the University of Wisconsin.
Research results and technical assistance provided by WCWRU partnership efforts are essential for management of resources implemented at the state, national and international levels.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting North American deer and elk, has emerged as an internationally important wildlife management issue. Studies suggest that CWD may have long-term adverse population effects on these valuable keystone species.
Habitat fragmentation and loss have led to significant declines in both the distribution and abundance of bird species throughout much of the world. In 2012, efforts were initiated to establish a long-term monitoring and research program to provide much needed information.
The Cooperative Units Program of the U.S. Geological Survey has been an integral part of the Department since 1972. The Unit’s research spans the range from problem-oriented projects designed to provide cooperators with useful information on resource issues to basic scientific discovery.