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Disease Risk Analysis in Wildlife

    We are facing a global biodiversity crisis, with species extinction rates far exceeding natural estimates. In response, conservation programs have increased, focusing on habitat protection and active interventions like translocating wild animals.

    However, translocations can raise disease risks for both moved animals and recipient populations. This occurs because translocated species bring along viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans, helminths, and arthropods. This can lead to hosts encountering new pathogens or vice versa, altering host-pathogen interactions. Additionally, stress from translocation can trigger diseases. Overall, translocations can result in welfare issues, mortality, and major epidemics, potentially leading to population declines or extinctions.


    A Disease Risk Analysis (DRA) is an essential tool for mitigating the risks associated with translocation. DRA is a structured, evidence-based process that assesses potential health threats from infectious and non-infectious diseases to ecosystems, wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. The process involves reviewing the existing literature, consulting with experts, and conducting a comprehensive list and prioritization of disease risks. The results of a DRA also help in implementing evidence-based options for preventing and mitigating such risks. Veterinary work is critical to the success of translocation projects.


    At WildCoM, we develop DRAs, offer pre- and post-release health monitoring and help implement disease protection measures, such as biosecurity, quarantine procedures, and infectious agent screening. This can make the difference between success and failure, because we can tackle disease threats before they become a problem, ensuring the success and safety of translocation projects.

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