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2021 (No. 1)

AHEAD Update

Dear AHEAD Colleagues:

Welcome to the latest issue of the AHEAD Update. As always, if you would like to post an item in the next Update, please just send it to us – thanks.

Special Half-Day Symposium: February 23rd, 2021


New Resources

Lindsey, P et al. (2020) Conserving Africa’s Wildlife and Wildlands through the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond.
Nature Ecology and Conservation

A team of over 20 collaborators examines the negative impacts the COVID-19 crisis has had on biodiversity conservation in Africa, and the actions needed to mitigate them.

Quinn, C et al. (2020) Rapid Climate Risk Assessment for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Region.

Like much of Africa, the SADC region remains fundamentally dependent on a resilient agricultural system and natural resource base. This report assesses the distribution of climate hazards and associated social and biophysical vulnerability in order to identify climate risk hotspots.

Xu, W et al. (2021) Barrier Behaviour Analysis (BaBA) Reveals Extensive Effects of Fencing on Wide-Ranging Ungulates.
Journal of Applied Ecology

How animals respond to barriers like fences is species-specific. While some are able to navigate them, others become trapped. Using GPS collaring data, satellite imagery and Barrier Behaviour Analysis, researchers provide a tool to help inform conservation efforts and fencing decisions.

Mukarati, NL et al. (2020) A Serological Survey of Bacillus anthracis Reveals Widespread Exposure to the Pathogen in Free‐Range and Captive Lions in Zimbabwe.
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases

The widespread presence of anthrax antibodies in lions in protected areas, irrespective of absence of reported disease outbreaks, confirms a much larger circulation of B. anthracis in Zimbabwe. These results raise new questions on the epidemiology of anthrax in endemic regions.

Mukarati, NL et al. (2020) The Pattern of Anthrax at the Wildlife-Livestock-Human Interface in Zimbabwe.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Improved understanding of the impacts of anthrax and the factors responsible for its continued expansion points to the need for additional resources for surveillance and containment in order to improve rural livelihoods and enhance wildlife conservation efforts.

Upcoming Meetings

69th WDA & 14th EWDA Joint Conference Virtual event 31 Aug-2 Sep 2021

Originally planned to take place in Cuenca, Spain, the meeting will be transformed into a digital one. Professionals working in wildlife health management as well as students, researchers and those concerned with the wildlife-domestic animal-human interface are invited to this unique opportunity to share their knowledge. Abstracts are due by 18 April 2021.

SAVA Wildlife Congress Hybrid event 11-13 Mar 2021, Onderstepoort, South Africa

The conference will be a blend of in person and virtual learning, with focus areas including immobilization and tranquilization.

Again, if you have items for the next AHEAD Update, please just let us know – thanks.

Yours in conservation and development,

Steve & Shirley

Steve Osofsky, DVM
Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine
Jay Hyman Professor of Wildlife Health & Health Policy
AHEAD Program Coordinator

Shirley Atkinson, MSc
Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine
Assistant Director, Wildlife Health & Health Policy
AHEAD Regional Coordinator

What is AHEAD?

AHEAD works to create enabling environments that allow different and often competing sectors to literally come to the same table and find collaborative ways forward to address challenges at the interface of wildlife health, livestock health, and human health and livelihoods. We convene stakeholders and provide technical support and resources for projects locally identified as priorities. AHEAD, one of the first applied One Health programs, recognizes the need to look at health, disease, and the environment together, while always taking a given region's socioeconomic, political, and policy context into account.

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Beauty and the Beef
AHEAD book
Osofsky, S.A., Cleaveland, S., Karesh, W.B., Kock, M.D., Nyhus, P.J., Starr, L., and A. Yang, (eds.). 2005. Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface: Implications for Wildlife, Livestock and Human Health. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. xxxiii and 220 pp.

Downloadable PDFs of whole book/each section available by visiting the AHEAD Launch Proceedings page. Hard copies can be ordered by e-mailing books@iucn.org
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What is AHEAD?

Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development was launched at the 2003 IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa. By assembling a ‘dream team’ of veterinarians, ecologists, biologists, social and economic scientists, agriculturists, wildlife managers, public health specialists and others from across East and southern Africa, we were fortunate to have tapped into some of the most innovative conservation and development thinking on the African continent- and AHEAD was born. Since then, a range of programs addressing conservation, health, and concomitant development challenges have been launched with the support of a growing list of implementing partners and donors who see the intrinsic value of the One World, One Health approach.

AHEAD is a convening, facilitative mechanism, working to create enabling environments that allow different and often competing sectors to literally come to the same table and find collaborative ways forward to address challenges at the interface of wildlife health, livestock health, and human health and livelihoods. We convene stakeholders, help delineate conceptual frameworks to underpin planning, management and research, and provide technical support and resources for projects stakeholders identify as priorities. AHEAD recognizes the need to look at health and disease not in isolation but within a given region's socioeconomic and environmental context.

In short, AHEAD recognizes the importance of animal and human health to both conservation and development interests. Around the world, domestic and wild animals are coming into ever-more-intimate contact, and without adequate scientific knowledge and planning, the consequences can be detrimental on one or both sides of the proverbial fence. But armed with the tools that the health sciences provide, conservation and development objectives have a much greater chance of being realized – particularly at the critical wildlife/livestock interface, where conservation and agricultural interests meet head-on. AHEAD efforts focus on several themes of critical importance to the future of animal agriculture, human health, and wildlife health (including zoonoses, competition over grazing and water resources, disease mitigation, local and global food security, and other potential sources of conflict related to land-use decision-making in the face of resource limitations). Historically, neither governments, nongovernmental organizations, the aid community, nor academia have holistically addressed the landscape-level nexus represented by the triangle of wildlife health, domestic animal health, and human health and livelihoods as underpinned by environmental stewardship.


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