Pam Whitely of Melbourne University, Australia, who is also an international expert in wildlife health, said the concept of ‘conservation medicine’ had great significance as it aimed at bringing together environmental, animal, and human health experts to fight against the deleterious effects of climate change and associated emergence of zoonoses (diseases that which can be transmitted to humans from animals).
Dr. Whitely was delivering the keynote address at a workshop on the ‘wildlife disease diagnosis and forensics’ held at Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU), Pookode, in Wayanad district on Friday.
The programme was organised by the Centre for Wildlife Studies Centre of the university in connection with the Wildlife Week observance.
Dr. Jose John Chungath, Dean-in-charge of the university, inaugurated the programme.
Dr. Whitely stressed the importance of wildlife disease surveillance and standard forensic procedures in her lecture.
The workshop gave an insight into the common diseases affecting the kangaroos, Tasmanian wolves, koalas, cockatoos, and other common birds of Australia.
As part of the workshop, Dr. Whitely, along with the faculty and students of the centre, visited Dr. Shivaram Karanth Pilikula Biological Park, Mangalore, to treat two sick tigers and offer advice on the health issues of animals at the zoo.
She appreciated the integration of expert faculty from the various veterinary and animal sciences divisions of KVASU; zoos in and outside Kerala; and experts from the State Forest Department and the Kerala Forest Research Institute in the programmes and was impressed by the potential of these programmes for promoting wildlife education and welfare in India.