Care for Animals in the Wild

House Calls at the End of the World Video
Wildlife veterinarian Marcela Uhart describes some of her patients on the coast of Argentina.
Vet in Argentina Photo
WCS Field veterinarian Marcela Uhart examines a male southern elephant seal at Peninsula Valdez, Argentina.
Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

As you read this, WCS field scientists are working in deserts, oceans, forests, and jungles. They are on savannahs, mountaintops, and icy tundra. As people and their domestic animals penetrate once pristine areas, expanding their range and intensity of their activities around the globe, they are impacting wildlife health more than ever. Today, the infectious and non-infectious diseases of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife are increasingly challenging to biodiversity conservation and to the improvement of the quality of life for humans. Although wildlife diseases play important ecological roles, human activities are throwing these systems out of balance with devastating consequences, including gradual and dramatic losses of wildlife populations. 

Since 1989, WCS wildlife health experts have been employing a collaborative approach to addressing the complexities of maintaining ecosystem health. Working with in-country wildlife experts, government agencies, and public health officers--from Patagonia to central Africa--we create local training programs, conduct cutting-edge health investigations, inform policy decisions, and compile preventative guidelines to reduce disease transmission between wildlife, humans, and domestic animals.

WCS Projects

Great Apes in Africa

Great apes are vulnerable to more than 140 diseases. In some of the primates’ last remaining habitats, WCS scientists develop baseline profiles and conduct intensive surveys of gorilla and chimpanzee health.

Loons of the Adirondacks

WCS-Global Health, WCS-Adirondacks, and the BioDiversity Research Institute track, band, monitor, and take blood samples from these iconic waterbirds to check their exposure to disease and pollution.

Penguins & Other Seabirds in Patagonia

When thousands of seabirds began dying off the coast of South America, years of previous WCS research and surveys helped find out why. Now, through continued health monitoring of a wide range of seabird species throughout this vast area, WCS hopes to identify problems early, before they further threaten seabird survival.

From the Newsroom

After a Head-Start, Hellbenders Slither Back Under RocksAugust 21, 2013

Their name makes them sound tough, but Eastern hellbenders are in need of protection in New York State. The salamanders are facing population decline due to habitat destruction, disease, and pollution.

Bringing Back the Blue IguanaAugust 5, 2011

WCS veterinarian Dr. Paul Calle recently traveled to Grand Cayman to conduct health examinations on a group of captive-bred blue iguanas before their release into the wild. Through an emergency response effort led by the Blue Iguana Recovery Program, Calle and his colleagues have helped this critically endangered species rebound from near-extinction.

Blue Iguana Rebounds from Near-ExtinctionJuly 19, 2011

Health experts from WCS’s Bronx Zoo and other members of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program are close to saving the endangered reptile in its home on Grand Cayman island.

Serendipity in SumatraJune 1, 2010

WCS field veterinarians tracking avian influenza catch a glimpse into the life of a little-known bird, Nordmann's greenshank, as it flies between the Russian seacoast and the beaches of Sumatra.

Rare Vulture Returns to Cambodian SkiesMarch 18, 2009

After nearly dying from eating a poisoned animal carcass, a critically endangered white-rumped vulture was nursed back to health by wildlife veterinarians and conservationists from WCS and Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity.

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