Free-Ranging Wildlife Health Residency

andrew di salvo activities

Free-Ranging Wildlife Health Residency

In 2017, the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Wildlife Investigations Laboratory launched the first 3-year residency position in free-ranging wildlife health. In the first year, the resident will be based at CDFW working alongside state wildlife veterinarians and biologists; during the second year the resident will be based at UC Davis and enrolled in the Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) program (in epidemiology); locations and opportunities in the third year will be tailored to the needs and interests of both institutions and the resident.  The resident will receive advanced training in: 

  • Herd/population health monitoring and management (game and non-game)
  • Outbreak and mortality investigation
  • Wildlife immobilization and handling
  • Threatened and endangered species recovery
  • Wildlife-livestock conflict
  • Urban wildlife (including nuisance animal control)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Toxicology
  • Pathology

Work will involve extensive local and statewide travel. The resident will contribute to clinical and didactic teaching of veterinary students. Upon successful completion, the resident will partially (or wholly, depending on prior work experience) fulfill requirements for sitting the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) board-certification examination. Applicants must possess a DVM or equivalent degree; at least 1 yr post-DVM work experience and/or an internship is desirable, as is a track record of interest in and familiarity with free-ranging wildlife health.


Current Wildlife Health Resident

Andrew Di SalvoAndrew Di Salvo, DVM

Our first Wildlife Health Resident Dr. Andrew Di Salvo has always had a passion for wildlife veterinary medicine that has taken him cross-country and even beyond: in addition to prior field work in California, Oregon, and Idaho, Dr. DiSalvo also worked as the clinical and field veterinarian for the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia and as primary wildlife veterinarian for White Buffalo, Inc. in Staten Island, NY.

During the first year of his residency, Andrew has led or participated in projects including the live-capture and processing of California wildlife species including black-tailed deer, San Joaquin kit foxes, and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep for wildlife management and disease surveillance purposes; an anesthetic trial in free-ranging fishers; and the testing of novel therapies (tilapia skin bandages) to treat black bears burned by California wildfires.