Gilbert: Combating infectious disease threats critical to saving Asiatic lions
Over 30 Asiatic lions have died from what appears to be infection with canine distemper virus in India’s Gir National Park since September, alarming conservationists around the globe.
Dr. Martin Gilbert, Wild Carnivore Health Specialist at the College of Veterinary Medicine Wildlife Health Cornell Center of Excellence, says more deaths are preventable with proactive collaborations between governments and veterinary scientists.
"Conservationists can no longer afford to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the threat of infectious disease. This is particularly true for threatened carnivores whose already diminished populations are often too small to withstand the additional pressures of disease outbreaks.
“There are solutions to these crises, but implementing them requires genuine, proactive collaboration between government authorities and veterinary scientists if we are to avoid losing species that are part of our global heritage."