Chinese scientists identified a “wet market” where live and dead animals, including many wildlife species, are sold for consumption, as the main suspect for the origin of COVID-19. The virus is closely related to the SARS coronavirus that spilled over from wild animals to humans in a wet market in 2003. It is vital that governments recognize the global public health threats of zoonotic diseases: "It's time to close live animal markets that trade in wildlife and strengthen efforts to combat trafficking of wild animals" says WCS's Dr Chris Walzer who explains more in the video: Zoonotic Outbreaks: Where It Starts and Stops
117 Years of Veterinary Excellence
As WCS celebrates its 125 year anniversary, we're proud of the excellence in veterinary care the organization has always prioritized. In 1903, the Bronx Zoo was the first zoo in the U.S. to hire a full-time veterinarian to care for their collection. Chief Veterinarian, Dr Paul Calle, sheds more light on the history of our veterinary program in this Wild View blog.
Albatross Versus
Invasive Species
WCS Chile monitors the only known breeding colony of black-browed albatross , Thalassarche melanophrys, in interior waters. In 2015, WCS found all albatrosses gone and invasive American mink predating the young Albatross. Since then, WCS has been working to implement a mink control program and study threats to the bird's reproductive success.
Marine Wildlife in The New York Seascape
A wealth of marine life lives just off New York's shores. Dr. Harley Newton, head of WCS' Aquatic Health Department, spoke with Bloomberg TV about the threats that awe-inspiring and ecologically important whales and sharks face from fishing, shipping, pollution, ocean noise, and offshore energy exploration in New York waters. Dr Newton is also Expedition Chief Scientist with OCEARCH, studying movements and health of Great white sharks off the East Coast of the United States.
Tracking a Deadly Virus in Wildlife
Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPR) causes severe disease in domestic ungulates and a new WCS study found that spillover of PPR from livestock in Mongolia caused an 80% population decline for the critically endangered saiga antelope, Saiga tatarica , raising substantial concerns for the species’ survival. To address the threat of PPR to wild ungulate conservation and achieve global eradication of the virus , consideration of domestic and wild ungulate communities is essential.
The Berlin Principles were developed and issued at the "One Planet, One Health, One Future" conference organized by WCS and the German Federal Foreign Office in October 2019. The conference included the top minds from around the globe addressing how human development and interference on nature are generating threats affecting all life on Earth, and serve as  an urgent call  to governments, academia, and civil society that all sectors need to break down barriers to ensure a united effort to prevent the emergence or resurgence of diseases that threaten humans, wildlife, and livestock.
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The Wildlife Conservation Society was among the first zoos in the world to have full time veterinary care for their animals, with a clinician and pathologist hired in 1903 and a zoo animal hospital opening at the Bronx Zoo in 1916. We were also one of the first conservation organizations with a dedicated team of wildlife veterinarians deployed around the world to address the health of free ranging wildlife and problem-solve at the wildlife / domestic animal / human health and livelihoods interface, all underpinned by a foundation of environmental stewardship.

To learn how to support the  One World - One Health  portfolio at WCS, please contact Dr. Chris Walzer at or Dr. Paul Calle at .

Photo Credits: Bats for sale in wet market in Asia © Lucy Keatts; shark health check © OCEARCH; all other images © WCS