Wildlife Conservation

IUCN SSC Wildlife Health Specialist Group

Program Info


The health of wildlife is important for the wellbeing of threatened species, as well as for maintaining the integral ecological roles of wild animals in the ecosystems on which we all depend. As disease outbreaks can present risks of decline or even extinction of wild species, promoting the health of wildlife is a key aspect of their management and conservation.

EcoHealth Alliance manages the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Wildlife Health Specialist Group (WHSG), a network of 300+ wildlife health experts from around the world. The WHSG was commissioned by the IUCN Species Survival Commission to serve as a first response for wildlife health concerns around the world.

The primary responsibility of WHSG members is to provide advice, access to regional information and expert resources in order to effectively respond to local issues related to wildlife health to support conservation. The group is Chaired by Dr. Billy Karesh (based at EcoHealth Alliance) and Dr. Richard Kock (based at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London). Members represent a focused network of regional experts primarily conducting wildlife health work in the areas of health surveillance, reporting, and response, wildlife disease management, disease ecology, diagnostics, epidemiology, pathology, toxicology, health policy and related health disciplines.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) represents a science-based network of 10,000 volunteer experts around the world working on species conservation. The SSC is recognized as an international authority on biodiversity and produces the Red List of Threatened Species. Specialist Groups provide scientific input on a continuing basis.

EcoHealth Alliance is an active member organization of the IUCN. In addition to managing the Wildlife Health Specialist Group, EcoHealth Alliance experts are also members of the Bat Specialist Group, serve on the IUCN SSC Policy Subcommittee to provide input on health and biodiversity links in international and regional policy processes, and are project partners on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems.

For more information, go to: www.iucn-whsg.org



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