Because we need nature, and now nature needs us

Winter 2020-2021
Snowy owl standing in snow in front of tree
Dear Friends of the Cornell Wildlife Health Center,

As we continue to navigate 2020 together as best we can, I wanted to thank you for your support, for your interest, and for all you do— whether in your own back yard or across the globe— to secure a future for wildlife and wild places.

We obviously ignore the unsustainable state of our relationship with wild nature at our own peril, with the pandemic and climate change as just two glaring reminders of that fact. But there are many reasons for hope as we say good-bye to 2020 (and not a moment too soon), and find our footing again as COVID vaccines become more and more available. I see hope in our team’s recent work with policymakers on preventing the next pandemic, in every wild animal that is released after treatment from our Swanson Wildlife Hospital, in our students’ continuing to plan immersion experiences in conservation and development at home and abroad, in our work developing a way to protect the health of wild tigers, in our provision of veterinary care to the animals at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, and in our partnership with the N.Y.S. Dept. of Environmental Conservation to secure a healthy future for New York’s diverse wildlife. We have seen genuine progress on these fronts and many more this year, and as a reminder, all of our news since we launched the Cornell Wildlife Health Center is available here.

Our team looks forward to a brighter 2021; please keep safe and have a peaceful holiday season.

With sincere thanks again,

Steve Osofsky, DVM
Director, Cornell Wildlife Health Center
Jay Hyman Professor of Wildlife Health & Health Policy
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
New research published by our Wild Carnivore Health Specialist Dr. Martin Gilbert in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that vaccination of endangered Amur (Siberian) tigers is the only practical strategy to protect these big cats from a dangerous disease in their natural habitat in the Russian Far East.
This Global Landscapes Forum article details the history of the One Health approach, and its critical role in the prevention of future pandemics.
“One Health Perspectives” was a key session within Cornell’s COVID-19 Summit, a two-day event featuring researchers from across the university.
Cornell veterinary student Alexander Levitskiy ’24 reflects on his experiences working in Indonesia last summer as part of one of our One Health-focused international programs.
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 has been rapidly spreading across the western half of the United States— Cornell's Dr. Krysten Schuler provides guidance.
A 3-month old bobcat named Dottie was treated at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals for an infection and a joint injury after taking a fall. Following hip surgery, she is bouncing back and recovering well.
The Cornell Wildlife Health Center's Dr. Martin Gilbert reflects on his experience working with local partners and students in Nepal to help wildlife such as tigers and greater one-horned rhinos, highlighting the importance of training a new generation of wildlife health specialists who can work to promote conservation and public health.
Cornell Aquatic Scientist Dr. Rodman Getchell writes about similarities between managing the pandemic and managing aquatic animal diseases, describing how rapid detection and tracing are essential for the efficient and timely control of fish disease outbreaks.
A bipartisan bill, the Preventing Future Pandemics Act, would direct agencies across the U.S. Government to work with international partners to shut down commercial wildlife markets, end the trade in live wildlife for non-essential human consumption, and phase-out demand for wildlife as a food source.
The COVID-19 pandemic is only the latest result of an infectious pathogen jumping from animals to people. This report examines some of the key factors that can enable disease emergence, and considers how conservation of wilderness and associated biodiversity can make us safer.
The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Annual Report 2020 summarizes our progress this year in the priority “Advances in Animal, Human and Ecosystem Health” pillar.
Your gift literally means the world to us!
The Cornell Wildlife Health Center transforms science into impact through discovery, education, engagement, and policy to ensure a healthy future for wildlife and the environment that supports us all.

To learn more about the Cornell Wildlife Health Center, please contact Dr. Steve Osofsky at or visit our website.

Let us know if you have any comments on this e-newsletter, and forward to a friend if you find it useful! Thank you for your support.
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