WILDLIFE HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM
If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it fall? If an animal dies is it recorded?
Until now, the answer is often no, and there is rarely a uniform or consistent record of what is happening to wildlife where health, disease, and death are concerned. So just like the tree falling, the debate about wildlife mortality continues. But unlike the tree, there is a solution. With the use of technology, we can gather data on diseases and deaths, and with this information begin to draw conclusions and see patterns.
What seems simple has been complicated for several reasons, one among them is the lack of a simple to use a database that allows wildlife professionals to collect, store and share information from the field has not existed. Most health records have been kept on individual computers or collected and filed on paper, making it easy to lose and misinterpret.
For decades, we have seen species rise into the threatened or endangered category or worse off, go extinct due to diseases that have wiped out their populations quickly. We need to stop waiting for catastrophic events. Conservation medicine not only answers the question of why are these animals dying but can have the clear treatment and preventive measures to address the next die-off.
75% of new and emerging diseases are shared between humans and animals.
Now, more than ever, everyone around the globe is seeing the impact of unmonitored diseases shared. COVID 19 is not the only threatening disease shared with wildlife and people. There needs to be a system installed that allows the recording of wildlife health statuses that can help us prevent future outbreaks and pandemics.