The Threat to Wildlife Around the Globe
The catalytic event that led to the founding of VIEW occurred when wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Deborah McCauley, was working for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. She received a call about a bighorn sheep die-off near Yellowstone. As her team responded, they saw an emaciated ram stumbling. After witnessing it tumble over and gasp its last breath, they looked up to the pasture only to see that the landscape was peppered with dozens more dead and dying wild sheep. 90% of this bighorn sheep herd died and the cause was pneumonia – a disease that had been transmitted from healthy domestic sheep that were carriers. This tragic scenario where domestic animals share disease with wildlife and cause threatened wildlife populations to collapse is not just happening in Montana. It has been witnessed in other fragile endangered wildlife populations around the globe.
The field of wildlife conservation has existed for decades with great strides being made to reduce habitat loss, and poaching and address climate change. However, even as significant efforts are being made to protect endangered animals, infectious and transmissible diseases (when not identified, treated, and prevented) can do untold harm to a fragile population whether in the wild, captivity, conservation corridors, or protected areas.
Dr. Deborah McCauley co-founded Veterinary Initiative for Endangered Wildlife (VIEW) in 2012 with Dr. Gretchen Kaufrman to address this specific need and solve the missing piece to conservation - wildlife health. VIEW is the only conservation nonprofit organization focused solely on the urgent need to proactively address health threats as part of a comprehensive strategy for protecting endangered wildlife populations around the world.
We at VIEW believe that wildlife health is the missing piece of the global conservation strategy. Tremendous efforts have been made to protect critical habitats and reduce wildlife trade and poaching. If we don’t also make sure that the species we are protecting are healthy, then these efforts will not succeed.
Simple awareness is not enough, we need to understand the origins and implications of disease. Infectious and transmissible disease must be identified, treated, and prevented. Failure to do so may cause untold, yet preventable, harm to wildlife populations, domestic animals, and humans.
VIEW conducts workshops and training for local wildlife veterinarians, managers and students to equip them with the skills needed to carry out wildlife health programs in disease surveillance, safe capture techniques, and advanced technology.
VIEW helps to create local field facilities (laboratory, wildlife hospital, and digital health surveillance system) so that disease investigation and wildlife care are possible, maintained and easily applied by local stakeholders.
Tools & Technology
VIEW partners with local stakeholders to empower them to target their investigation to better understand and respond to wildlife health risks for endangered wildlife population recovery and publish their findings.