About Dr. Mark

My first wildlife capture & handling was with Colorado Game, Fish, and Parks Department. We were catching bighorn sheep with drop nets during my first year of veterinary school in 1983. That was more than 35 years ago. Even then, before I knew I was a teacher, I took photos and wanted to gather and share the details of how we work in the field capturing animals. I am continuously learning from the animals and from my colleagues and have been teaching these field-based details for over 30 years.

For me, how we capture wildlife is just as important as what we do. My highest priority is to handle every animal with care, compassion, and respect and to teach others how we can incorporate those heart-felt values into our tools, techniques, and mannerisms. This leads to greater success in the field, better animal care, greater joy in our work, and a steady desire to always do better. We become better professionals. 

After 2 years in private practice I began working exclusively with wildlife. I was Project Veterinarian for the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s 1995-96 Gray Wolf Reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park, and served as Yellowstone Park’s wildlife veterinarian for four years – the first wildlife veterinarian for the National Park Service. I have been an Affiliate Faculty with University of Montana’s Wildlife Biology Department since 1997.

I have had the priviledge of teaching workshops exclusively for agencies and organizations such as:

Dr. Mark
  • Yosemite & Glacier National Parks
  • Minnesota and Fargo Zoos
  • Puerto Rico Dept. of Natural Resources
  • USFWS National Conservation Training Center
  • USDA Wildlife Services
  • University of Montana (since 1997)
  • University of Minnesota
  • Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Red Wolf Recovery Program
  • MN Zoo (twice) and Fargo Zoo

Mark R. Johnson, DVM

Wildlife Veterinarian, Instructor
Founder and CEO of Global Wildlife Resources


Working with captive and free-ranging wolves has taught me how to work with feral dogs.  My other specialty is teaching humane feral dog capture and handling courses around the world to help organizations eradicate rabies and humanely manage dog overpopulation. After Hurricane Katrina, I helped with dog rescues and field training in New Orleans, and have traveled to India 4 times in a collaboration with Vets Beyond Borders and the Animal Welfare Board of India to provide training in the humane capture of feral dogs.

A core tool that I use to capture and handle captive and fractious wolves and dogs is the Y pole. It is an effective and humane alternative to the catch pole (e.g. snare pole).  I have introduced the Y pole to the zoo, wildlife, and animal welfare communities. My goal is to see that every animal shelter knows about the Y pole. This humane tool transforms the culture and captive animal programs and shelters and how people interact with their canids.

I continue to assist with field captures and teach the most current and extensive training courses in North America. With each course, I also learn from professionals attending the courses and gather new tools, techniques, and perspectives throughout the year. Over 60 wildlife professionals, including 14 other wildlife veterinarians have provided content for my online course, “The Foundations of Wildlife Chemical Capture.”

I am celebrating Life and fulfilling my purpose with my wife Elizabeth on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound. We enjoy hiking, kayaking, organic gardening, and supporting the practices of sustainable communities.

Mark R. Johnson DVM
Wildlife Veterinarian, Instructor, CEO
Global Wildlife Resources
P.O. Box 1025
Freeland, WA 98249
Phone: 406.570.3915
Email: [email protected]
Website: WildlifeCaptureandCare.com

Mark and ram
Mark holding wolf pup

Project Veterinarian for 1995-96 Yellowstone Wolf Reintroduction

Lynx and TPRs

Captive lynx research study

WY sheep capture

WY sheep capture as a veterinarian student

Project Veterinarian for 1995-96 Yellowstone Wolf Reintroduction

Project Veterinarian for 1995-96 Yellowstone Wolf Reintroduction


"I would like to personally thank all of the students and professionals who have taken my courses - each one of you is also my teacher. Thank you to all of the zoo and wildlife professionals who have shared their field-based knowledge and techniques as we all develop better ways to capture and handling wildlife with care, safety, and success.

I would also like to thank the following colleagues for sharing their photos, videos, and protocols for this website and for my wildlife handling and chemical immobilization courses. Thank you for sharing your high standards in animal care when handling captive and free-ranging wildlife. I am honored to have you represented in my training materials." Dr. Mark Johnson DVM

  • Kim Sager Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Natural Resources
  • Dave Shreffler, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Natural Resources
  • Mark Elbroch, Panthera
  • Nathan Bieber, Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Mammal Group
  • Lee Kantar, Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Mammal Group
  • Nathan Albrecht, Coeur d'Alene Tribe Wildlife Program
  • Rich Beausoleil, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
  • Wolf Haven International, Tenino WA
  • Bob Parris (and Alex Krevitz), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service