Wildlife Health Management
The Wildlife Institute of India has a proactive wildlife health programme that is a milestone in conservation management. The programme is an interdisciplinary effort between health professionals, wildlife managers, ecologists and conservation professionals. It is an important component of educational and applied wildlife research and successfully integrates the disciplines of veterinary medicine and wildlife management. This integration has been possible due to active collaboration between the WII, managers of protected areas, state wildlife agencies, state departments of animal husbandry, veterinary collages and other institutions such as the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
In association with the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), a nation-wide programme title “Development of an Indian Wildlife Health Co-operative (IWHC)” was initiated in 1994 to effectively address the health management of wildlife resources. Five regional centres of the IWHC were developed at veterinary medical institutions located at Anand, Guwahati, Madras, Jabalpur and Hissar. These centres have appropriately trained faculty members and resources to conduct wildlife health monitoring programmes in their regions.
The department shoulders the major responsibility in developing a multi-disciplinary approach to address interface conflicts between man, wildlife and livestock through veterinary medical intervention.
Teaching and Training
Wildlife health management is a significant component in all the WII’s regular and short-term courses. These courses promotes a better understanding of the wildlife–livestock disease interface amongst wildlife managers, veterinarians and biologists. Training workshops are also organized in the area of wildlife health management, wildlife restraint techniques, wildlife damage control and field investigations of wildlife mortality events.
The department provides veterinary medical services to wildlife managers, biologists and veterinary specialists in projects where ecological studies on endangered species require highly professional services for immobilization, restraint and telemetry in wildlife. The department coordinates activities with several veterinary medical institutions for investigation, monitoring, researching and controlling diseases affecting the health and survival of wildlife and livestock across the country.
Consultation to State Wildlife Agencies
The department provides regular consultations and assistance to state wildlife agencies in the areas of mortality investigation, mitigation of human–wildlife conflicts, rehabilitation of wild animals, wildlife restraint operations and re-introduction/translocation of animals.
Collaborative International Projects
The department has provided active support in many international projects such as “Recovery of Siberian Cranes” and “Ecology of Himalayan Ibex”. It is currently developing a multi-disciplinary collaborative project with the Zoological Society of London. The development of the Indian Wildlife Health Co-operative in collaboration with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center is a fine example of an interdisciplinary effort to address wildlife health issues through regional veterinary medical institutions with their associated diagnostic laboratories, in the proximity of large wildlife areas.
Last Updated: July 21, 2020