May 4, 2017
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies is pleased to announce a partnership focused on fish and wildlife health, in collaboration with Bat Conservation International, the Amphibian Survival Alliance, the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy, the Center for Invasive Species Prevention, and five universities in the United States.
Disease is rapidly emerging as a major threat to wildlife globally. While wildlife diseases are not new, human actions are dramatically increasing their spread and impact. The partnership between the BAND Foundation and the Association will lead to more effective responses to emerging wildlife diseases. Three specific emerging pathogens that affect bats (White-nose syndrome (WNS)), salamanders (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal)) and sea stars (Sea Star Wasting Disease (SSWD)) are of immediate concern in the United States. These families of animals play vital roles as ecosystem engineers across a range of habitats from agricultural landscapes to forests to intertidal zones. This project provides funding for critical research and monitoring to better understand the diseases that threaten them, aims to catalyze a public policy framework for tackling wildlife disease more broadly and strategically, and seeks to leverage additional dollars to address this critical issue.
“State fish & wildlife agencies are on the front lines of wildlife disease prevention. This much needed funding will go a long way to prevent and prepare for disease outbreaks through the United States,” said Nick Wiley, President of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.
A conference to bring together experts in science and management of various wildlife diseases will be convened in 2018, to help further identify needs and improve communication and responses.
Funding for this collaborative effort was provided by the BAND Foundation, a charitable foundation whose mission includes conservation of wildlife and plant species and combatting wildlife diseases.
For more information about this new partnership, please contact Priya Nanjappa (202.838.3463/pnanjappa @ fishwildlife.org) or Jonathan Mawdsley (202.838.3462/jmawdsley @ fishwildlife.org).