South America has huge wildlife diversity, but there is scarce data available about diseases and a limited number of wildlife veterinarians and financial resources for health management.1-3 Buin Zoo Conservation and Research Department (CIBZ) was created in 2010 with “One Health” as a philosophy with the mission to address wildlife health management based on scientific criteria. The goal of CIBZ is to serve as a tool to answer questions such as “what,” “who,” “where,” and “when” in wildlife disease research and to develop management proposals using interdisciplinary and inter-institutional working networks.
Three programs have been created: education and training, disease surveillance, and the management of health issues in the region. After 2 years through the first program, more than 400 students and health professionals in the region have been exposed to different issues regarding wildlife and zoo animal health. Through the second program, a serum and tissue bank has been established to allow health screening in more than 500 captive wild mammals for different infectious pathogens (Brucella abortus, Salmonella sp., E. coli, Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, Leptospira interrogans, MRSA, canine distemper virus, bovine viral diarrhea, Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium sp., Giardia sp.). Currently CIBZ is working to provide information on the health status of four endangered mammal species in the region (Andean bear, Chilean huemul, Darwin’s fox and Chilean Pudu). The third program involves the implementation of zoological medicine into local wildlife conservation programs. Through these efforts, the standards of wildlife health management are being raised in natural and artificial environments in South America.
1. Boadella, M. 2011. Factores que modulan las tendencias temporales de las enfermedades compartidas con la fauna silvestre. PhD. Thesis dissertation, IREC. Univ. Castilla La Mancha, España. Pp 274.
2. Hidalgo-Hermoso, E. and M. Enciso. 2009. The link between captive and wild animal health in Venezuela: risk associated with poor management. Proc. Am. Assoc. Zoo Vet, Am. Assoc. Wildl. Vet. Pp. 91.
3. Karesh, W. 1995. Wildlife rehabilitation: additional considerations for developing countries. J. Zoo Wildl. Med. 26:2–9.