Project status
Project collaborators
Tony Sainsbury, ZSL

Dr Tony Sainsbury

Senior Lecturer Wild Animal Health

Dr Tammy Shadbolt, Wildlife Veterinarian, ZSL

Dr Tammy Shadbolt

Wildlife Veterinarian & Post-Doctoral Research Assistant

Dr Sophie Common, ZSL, with camera

Dr Sophie Common

Wildlife Veterinarian | Research Associate

Dr Claudia Carraro headshot

Dr Claudia Carraro

Wildlife Veterinarian & Research Associate

Georgina Gerard headshot

Georgina Gerard

DRAHS Project Manager

Conservation project health monitoring 

We are working together with Natural England to provide essential wildlife health monitoring for conservation projects. This is crucial to giving animals the best start possible as they return to the wild, whilst protecting local wildlife. Our health monitoring has contributed to the recovery of over 30 species, providing support to wildlife across the world for over three decades.  

Wildlife disease risk analysis  

Veterinary work is critical to the success of translocation projects because of the high potential of spreading disease. We provide disease risk analysis to protect translocated animals and existing wildlife populations from infectious and non-infectious hazards. Our actions prevent the introduction of parasites, which can otherwise have a catastrophic effect on immunologically naïve populations. 

Hazel dormice health monitoring 

DRAHS team projects

Wildlife health surveillance  

Providing responsible veterinary care for wildlife releases is a huge undertaking. We carry out pre and post release health monitoring on both the introduced and existing wild animals' populations. This can make the difference between success and failure, because we can tackle disease threats before they become a problem.  

Wildlife disease risk management 

We have been providing insight on wildlife diseases for over thirty years and we are continuing to establish leading disease protection measures to better protect wildlife. These may include enhanced biosecurity recommendations, implementation of quarantine procedures, infectious agent screening and therapeutic regimes.   

Red kite health monitoring

Sleepy dormouse during health check with DRAHS team in glove of conservationist
Frog held in hands of someone wearing rubber gloves

Success of wildlife disease risk analysis and health surveillance 

Before our project began, many wildlife conservationists only applied basic methods to assess the risk of disease in wild animal populations. Through our work and scientific research, we have helped change this. We developed a framework for disease risk analysis which has been adopted by the IUCN as a guideline for wildlife disease research analysis. These guidelines are influencing wildlife conservation across the world, as we continue to advance scientific understanding to find new solutions to protect animals.  

Wildlife reintroduction project support 

A conservation translocation is the deliberate movement of living organisms from one place to another in order to benefit a population, species or ecosystem. The IUCN translocation guidelines for wildlife reintroductions, provides a starting point to plan effective conservation action. The benefits of a conservation translocation must be carefully weighed against the complex risks, which can affect both translocated species and existing wildlife.  

We recommend applying disease risk management and post-release health surveillance (PRHS) to any conservation translocation plan. We provide expertise to support conservation translocation, please get in touch to receive support for your project.  

Natural England logo

Our work is made possible by funding from Natural England.

DRAHS conservation work

  • Hazel dormouse under aesthetic for ZSL health check
    Reintroducing the hazel dormouse to British countryside

    Hazel dormouse

    By working together with our conservation partners, we've managed to successfully reintroduce over 1,000 dormice

  • sand lizard examination in gloves
    A closer look at sand lizard translocations

    Analysing disease risks during sand lizard translocations

    The sand lizard has disappeared over much of its former range in the UK. Habitat loss and fragmentation are cited as the main factors in the species decline.

  • Red kite flying - identifying fork tail clearly visible
    Driving a resurgence

    Red kite conservation

    We are protecting red kites to ensure their numbers never crash again, by providing expert health surveillance and supporting reintroductions.

  • scanning a pool frog
    One of only two native frogs in Britain

    Bringing the pool frog back to Britain

    Historically, the pool frog was present in Britain, but following loss and damage to their habitats the species went extinct and the last native population of pool frogs, in Norfolk, was lost.

  • A puffin on Skellig Michael crag
    Recovering native wildlife

    Conserving native birds

    Our work protecting some of the most iconic birds across the UK, including sea eagles, puffins, corncrakes and hen harriers

  • Chequered Skipper butterfly on a leaf
    A previously extinct species in England

    Bringing back the Chequered skipper butterfly to English woodlands

    Post-release monitoring of the conservation work has provided evidence that the newly established populations are thriving once again in English woodlands.

  • Badger between two trees
    Badger vaccination

    Badger vaccination

    We’re researching the impact of TB vaccination among badgers on rates of infection.

  • Safeguarding wildlife health
Together for wildlife

From wildlife health monitoring to genetic research, as the original science-led conservation charity we are leading a fight for wildlife across the globe. Together we can make a difference, join us on our journey to build a better future.