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Dr. Deborah McCauley on World Economic Forum: Why wildlife health is the missing piece in conservation

Rhinos laying and grazing in grassy field
Photo by Matthias Mullie on Unsplash

In her recent Op-Ed for the World Economic Forum, Dr. Deborah McCauley, Executive Director at VIEW, highlights the vital role of integrating veterinary science into conservation efforts. Overall, the piece highlights VIEW’s mission: incorporating an often overlooked aspect of conservation– wildlife health. Drawing from successful case studies such as the recovery of mountain gorillas and black-footed ferrets, Dr. McCauley emphasizes how integrating wildlife health into conservation strategies can not only mitigate the risk of irreversible extinction trends but also bolster the resilience of vulnerable populations, ensuring their survival for generations to come.

Moreover, Dr. McCauley sheds light on emerging threats like highly pathogenic avian influenza, which poses significant risks to both wildlife and human populations. She advocates for a holistic approach that combines scientific expertise, technological innovation, and community engagement to effectively address these challenges. A collaborative effort among veterinarians, conservationists, policymakers, and local communities is essential to reversing the negative trends threatening wildlife.

By harnessing digital disease surveillance systems such as VIEW’s proprietary WHIS and providing education and resources to local communities, we can enhance our collective ability to monitor wildlife health, detect emerging threats, and implement effective interventions. This calls for increased funding and concerted action to prioritize wildlife health within the broader conservation agenda, ensuring the protection of individual species and the intricate ecosystems they inhabit. 


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