Wildlife Health Project
Wildlife health monitoring is an increasingly important component of wildlife conservation and very important to the small remaining populations of Russia’s most high-profile endangered species: Amur leopards and tigers.
Originally funded by the UK’s Darwin Initiative, the project materialized after it was apparent that there was little capacity for this type of work in the Russian Far East. ZSL, working in partnership with the Primorsky State Academy of Agriculture, began the project in 2006 and have since successfully trained many local wildlife vets and established a commercially viable Wildlife Health Monitoring Unit, containing a diagnostic lab and training materials for the future.
ZSL is continuing to collect biological samples from local and wild carnivores, as well as leopard and tiger prey species in and around Lazovsky State Nature Reserve. We aim to use the information provided from this baseline data to create a long-term wildlife health monitoring strategy for the province and to create a disease risk management strategy for the Amur leopard reintroduction. It is essential that we know the risks posed to the new leopards before they are released, and also to ensure the new leopards do not carry any diseases that could be harmful to the tigers already living in the reserve.
For more information, check out the blog from Misha Goncharuk, a young Russian vet currently working on the project and the photostory using the links on the right side of the page.
This project would not be possible without funding from the Darwin Initiative, and without the collaboration of Wildlife Vets International