Recent outbreaks of swine and avian flu, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and West Nile virus remind us that humans and wildlife are intimately connected—everywhere. We share habitats as well as food and water sources. We can even share similar biology, along with vulnerability to some of the same diseases. On our planet, we share one health. Human well-being relies on the well-being of other species. Whether in our backyards, at the zoo, at the market, in the jungle, or flying overhead, wildlife is closer than we may realize.
WCS-Global Health strives to keep each aspect of the relationship between humans and animals healthy through wildlife health monitoring, clinical care, research in its zoos and in the field, and collaboration with communities, scientists, and policymakers around the world.
After discovering the H5N1 virus in whooper swans in Mongolia in 2005, WCS-Global Health launched the Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance (GAINS). Combining tens of thousands of such samples with migratory routes and census data from about 105 million bird observations, GAINS maps the locations of influenza outbreaks and assesses how they spread.
WCS helped launch One World – One Health in 2004 to promote an international and interdisciplinary strategy for combating threats to the health of life on Earth. The initiative encourages health experts from around the world to discuss and share information regarding natural resource management and the potential movements of diseases among human, domestic animal, and wildlife populations.
The Wildlife Health Center at the Bronx Zoo, the Aquatic Animal Health Center at the New York Aquarium, and clinics at the Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoo provide state-of-the-art healthcare to our diverse wildlife collection.
From the Newsroom
A new collaboration between WCS and Children's Hospital Boston uses media reports to help track wildlife trade and reduce its associated disease risks.
At our country's doorstep, WCS health experts are helping authorities investigate the smuggling of wildlife and its stowaway diseases.
Large numbers of right whale calves are mysteriously dying off Argentina's coast. Conservationists are coming together to solve the case and save the whales.
South American howler monkeys sound the alert for humans during yellow fever outbreaks
Turtle biologists, veterinarians, and zoo staff from partner organizations convened at China’s Changsha Zoo to collect a lone, elderly female Yangtze giant softshell turtle and transport her to Suzhou Zoo, where she joined one of the few remaining males to potentially breed and save their entire species.