Biosecurity - One Health
The national capacity to deal with diseases of wildlife is weak and responses to crises inconsistent. FAUNA RA will support the development of tools and strategies to more effectively manage diseases of wildlife that threaten species survival and also impact upon animal agriculture and human health.
Biosecurity is a key threatening process impacting native biodiversity. Many of the characteristics of endangered and threatened species and their habitats (such as small population size, inbreeding, habitat fragmentation and degradation) make them especially vulnerable to the impacts of introduced or emerging diseases such as devil facial tumour disease. Increasing globalization is significantly adding to the threat of the spread of virulent diseases such as chytridiomycosis capable of causing the extinction of many secure species. In addition to these threats to biodiversity, the health of our wildlife impacts the health of our domestic animals and us either directly through the spillover of diseases such as Hendra virus or indirectly through dysfunctional ecosystems such as the loss of vultures and scavengers in India leading to an increase in dogs and subsequently rabies. This health relationship among living things has recently been coined by the term “One Health” and has perhaps been most aptly demonstrated in Australia when the health effects of lead contamination of the environment were first detected in wild birds in Esperance which then led to the discovery of poisoning of the human population.
Biosecurity/One Health projects will advance environmental outcomes and environmental education through mitigating the threat of diseases impacting biodiversity. They will also contribute to preventing or relieving the suffering of animals, and will advance human and domestic animal health either directly through mitigating the risk of diseases spilling over from wildlife or indirectly through improved ecosystem services.