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Copyright 2012 IUCN SSC Wildlife Health Specialist Group
Commissioned by the IUCN Species Survival Commission to serve as a first response for wildlife health concerns across the world.
Disease plays an important role in the natural environment, serving as a regulator of the genetic fitness of wildlife through selective pressure in evolutionary processes. Conversely, it has been shown that the loss of certain microorganisms and parasites can be detrimental to the healthy functioning of ecosystems and species alike. Unfortunately, human-induced changes in our environment caused by habitat destruction or modification, industrial and urban development, population growth and global movement of people and animals have fundamentally changed the way disease affects not only wildlife but also entire ecosystems. These changes require a way of looking at disease that considers the biological, political and economic value of wildlife and the consequences of biodiversity loss. A process known as disease risk analysis (DRA) has been adopted by IUCN and other organisations to analyse and manage the possible outcomes of situations involving disease. These Guidelines demonstrate the importance of DRA specifically for wildlife and promote the use of the larger Manual of Procedures for Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis (available electronically at https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/43386).
Both the Guidelines and Manual are also available in hardcopy via purchase from the OIE Bookstore (http://web.oie.int/boutique/).