EMERGING THREAT IN AFRICA
Africa is known for diverse landscapes and iconic wildlife. The continent holds a quarter of global biodiversity, is home to the world’s largest populations of mega vertebrates, and provides vital terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem services to the planet. However, human-induced pressures have threatened Africa’s resources. With an expanding human population projected to reach 40% of the world’s population by 2100, the resultant increase of land-use change will continue to endanger Africa’s wildlife.
The survival of wildlife is inextricably linked to the state of the ecosystem they live within. Pristine wildlife habitat has largely disappeared, and the human-livestock-wildlife interface is increasing across the continent. This overlap provides opportunities for species mixing and disease transmission like we have never before experienced. Similar to the disastrous effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, disease spillover can be catastrophic to already fragile wildlife populations.
OUR UNIQUE AND SUSTAINABLE APPROACH
Wildlife conservation is a priority in many African countries. However, threat mitigation efforts often focus on poaching and habitat degradation, with health and disease lying subjacent. While the threat of disease increases concomitant to the human-wildlife interface, our approach underscores the need to pro-actively monitor wildlife health to better understand the drivers of pathogen emergence and virulence. We also aim to strengthen preparation and response to outbreaks, to include building regional capacity for rapid veterinary care. Further, we engage frontline communities to assist in conservation efforts while employing the One Health concept that “healthy animals = healthy humans”.
(click on an animal to find out more about their program)
(click on an animal to find out more about how our work specifically impacts them)