Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Wildlife Vets International

(Painted Dog / African Wild Dog)

Wildlife Vets International is an organization working in the field of conservation medicine. As is so important in conservation, WVI helps the recovery of individual critically endangered species while also working with local human populations along side.

"Wildlife Vets International is at the forefront of wildlife and conservation medicine – capable of exerting a profoundly positive influence on attempts to ensure species survival globally.
We fund specialist wildlife veterinary surgeons to deliver on-site skills, training and field management to conservation organisations battling to save endangered wildlife worldwide.
Our multi-species expertise addresses an underdeveloped aspect of conservation at a time of increasing and urgent need as wildlife populations become increasingly vulnerable to the effects of infectious disease.
As a small but effective organisation, our work is typified by programmes such as helping resolve conflict between local people and the man-eating tigers of Bangladesh, preserving Africa’s disappearing painted dogs and rare primate rehabilitation in Nigeria.
Perhaps the most ambitious of all is WVI’s pivotal role in proposed re-introduction to the wild of the rarest big cat on earth – the Amur leopard.
We have worked successfully in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, Vietnam, Sumatra, Russia, Nigeria, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles, WVI has become recognised as a leader in its field. Therefore we are increasingly being asked to tackle new projects and new challenges.
WVI patrons Steve Leonard, Matt Brash and Kate Humble share our determination to establish veterinary issues as an integral and natural part of all endangered wildlife projects. Our veterinary specialists such as WVI founder, director and world renowned big cat expert, Dr John Lewis, ensure that WVI holds its own on the world conservation stage."
              - WVI
                                                                     (Amur Leopard)

Wildlife Vets International does not employ veterinarians. Instead they have a pool of vets who work very closely with the organization. The vets working directly on WVI projects are therefore volunteers, however WVI employs vets working in other areas of management within the organization. Here is the background on one of the vets who works for WVI:

"Andrew Greenwood

A few years after qualifying as a vet, Andrew formed the UK based International Zoo Veterinary Group  to provide freelance veterinary services across the world. He is an internationally recognised expert in conservation medicine, bird diseases and marine mammal care and sits on many committees as an expert. Andrew has spent many years campaigning for  improvement in the welfare of animals kept in zoos using his membership of British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the government’s Zoos Forum which produced the first zoo legislation. This subsequently became the model for European legislation. He is  actively working with  Defra and many local authorities as an inspector and advisor. Andrew has published widely in his areas of expertise.
As well as providing expertise for policy formers and to captive endangered species across the world, Andrew has been a long term veterinary advisor to conservation projects worldwide, including the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, the Seychelles flycatcher translocation project and has provided expertise and training for a number of conservation projects for island birds and reptiles where disease can be catastrophic to whole species.
Andrew is currently Secretary to WVI, plays an active part in its running and provides advice on how WVI can help the many projects we receive enquiries for."
        - WVI
(Golden Cheeked Gibbon)

I think this organization has some very exciting prospects for people aspiring to work in the field of conservation medicine. They are involved in some really interesting and critical projects around the world and being internationally supported they have the opportunities to have some very wide reaching effects. Go to their website for more information about who they are, what they are all about and what projects WVI is focussing on at the moment. 

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