Africa is known for its diverse landscapes and iconic wildlife. The continent holds a quarter of the world’s biodiversity, is home to the world’s largest populations of megavertebrates, 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, the increased land use and the human-domestic animal and wildlife interface will continue to endanger Africa’s wildlife. Sadly, many species including giraffes, elephants, pangolins, and vultures are already endangered. 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 the mixing of the species and transmission of diseases 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.