The intersection of wildlife conservation, disease, and human health

Animal Ecology In Focus

Today marks Endangered Species Day, when people around the world are encouraged to discover more about threatened species and their habitats. For conservation efforts to succeed, it is necessary to understand how animals interact with each other, with their environment – and with humans. Lauren White (University of Minnesota) addresses this by studying the idea of One Health – the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health. Here, she discusses the relevance of this to conservation. 

When I was in the third grade, I decided that I would become a field biologist who spent her time studying lemurs in Madagascar. I was particularly enraptured by aye-ayes—somewhat ungainly nocturnal lemurs with huge luminous eyes and an extremely long middle finger that aids their search for insects in rotting wood. When I found out that aye-ayes were often persecuted by local people because they were thought to bring bad luck, I was…

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