Bridging the gap: 25 years of capacity building for wildlife health professionals

10 May 2022, 18:00 - 19:30 (BST)

What image comes to mind when you hear the term wildlife health professional? Perhaps a vet, a zookeeper or maybe a conservationist in the field. In truth wildlife health professionals populate all these roles and many more, and over the past twenty-five years ZSL, with partners, has trained over 600 of them through the Wildlife Health Bridge. The Wildlife Health Bridge is a collaborative project between ZSL, Royal Veterinary College, Wildlife Institute of India, University of Edinburgh and the University of Melbourne. Despite this legacy, the need for highly trained wildlife health professionals is more apparent than ever with the prevalence of zoonotic and wildlife diseases being a keen focus in the public sphere these past 18 months. This is especially true in areas of high biodiversity which, in addition to being host to a vast array of species of flora and fauna, are areas where wildlife disease and conflict is of concern. These wildlife diseases are relatively unstudied and unchecked, therefore there is an important need for greater expertise in, and greater numbers of, wildlife health professionals to tackle them. This meeting will highlight the diverse set of roles wildlife health professionals trained by the collaborative initiative 'The Wildlife Health Bridge' have gone on to fill and showcase the impact these professionals have had on the wider world of wildlife health.



  • Dr Tony Sainsbury, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Zoology, ZSL: "The Wildlife Health Bridge and the training of wildlife health professionals"
  • Ashleigh Lutz-Nelson, Incoming Executive Director, Snow Leopard Conservancy: "Using a collaborative One Health Approach to improve the health, conservation and wellbeing of wild cats"
  • Dr Aditi Sharma, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Government of Uttarakhand, India: "Role of veterinarians in wildlife management"
  • Dr Arun Zachariah, Chief Forest Veterinary Officer in the Department of Forests and Wildlife, Government of Kerala, India: "Disease Ecology of Free Ranging Wildlife and Emerging Diseases - case studies from India"
  • Dr Alejandra Montalba, Director of National Zoo, Chile: "Conservation Efforts in a Latin American Zoo: Partnerships and Community Engagement"

This event was organised by the Wildlife Health Bridge Team: Dr Tony Sainsbury, Alannah Hogg, Rebecca Foskett and Alexandra Thomas - who will also be chairing the event.

Find out more about the speakers and their talks in the PDF icon Agenda and Abstracts - Bridging the Gap - 10 May 2022.pdf (587.79 KB) (587.79 KB)


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ZSL Wild Science Podcast

We will be creating a fascinating podcast episode on the topic of this event, so keep an ear out! Listen to previous episodes of our award winning ZSL Wild Science podcast here. Don't forget to rate and review to help boost us in the charts, and subscribe on your podcast app so you don't miss any future episodes!


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The Wildlife Health Bridge is a collaborative project between the Zoological Society of London, Royal Veterinary College, Wildlife Institute of India, University of Edinburgh and the University of Melbourne.

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