MTSG develops linkage with Wildlife Health Specialist Group

The Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG) recently linked up with the Wildlife Health Specialist Group (WHSG) and appointed MTSG and WHSG member Dr. Thierry Work to serve as a link between the two groups.

The IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group is a collaborative, multidisciplinary network supporting and promoting the health of wildlife and wildlife management as core components of ecosystem and biodiversity conservation. With a growing global concern and awareness of risks of emerging diseases and zoonotic diseases in general, the WHSG is working on strengthening their role in responding to wildlife health concerns and priorities in biodiversity conservation. Founded in 1984, the WHSG is a network of experts in various aspects of wildlife health. Dr. Michael Woodford was the founding chairman and led the group for 26 years. Since that time, the network has grown to over 300 members in 50 countries.

The mission of the WHSG is to foster a collaborative multidisciplinary network supporting and promoting the health of wildlife and wildlife management as core components of ecosystem and biodiversity conservation. The WHSG is comprised of professionals willing to volunteer their expertise to other SSC Specialist Groups as well as other organizations and governments to address wildlife health problems where and whenever feasible. WHSG members are seeking to work more closely with other IUCN groups, and given the MTSG frequently faces turtle health issues and reports, we felt it would be a wonderful opportunity to learn, share and collaborate.

The WHSG invites any members of the IUCN-MTSG to contact them if they are planning projects in which health issues could affect the outcome, or for any related questions. The WHSG has two new global coordinators, Lisa Starr and Catherine Machalaba, but we suggest that MTSG members coordinate any communication through Thierry so that the Group as a whole can be kept abreast of developments through this timely linkage.

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