The Intersection of Wildlife and Health The Wildlife Trust, Founded in 1971, is Now the EcoHealth Alliance

EcoHealth AllianceA clear example of how the conservation field has undergone a shift to the intersection of animal, human and ecological health is the rebranding of a prominent wildlife conservation group. The Wildlife Trust, founded in 1971, changed its name to EcoHealth Alliance last fall. With the switch came a new website, two new executives and new opportunities to partner with scientific groups in other disciplines.

A clear example of how the conservation field has undergone a shift to the intersection of animal, human and ecological health is the rebranding of a prominent wildlife conservation group. The Wildlife Trust, founded in 1971, changed its name to EcoHealth Alliance last fall. With the switch came a new website, two new executives and new opportunities to partner with scientific groups in other disciplines.

The name was selected, in part, to differentiate the organization from other groups with “wildlife” in the title, says Marketing and Communications Director Anthony Ramos. Although the focus and mission as an international group dedicated to protecting wildlife remains the same, there is now an emphasis on global health, for both humans and animals. As a global health program, the organization will look at the interaction of ecosystems, wildlife and humans. “It provides an opportunity for new areas of conservation, new geographic areas and new disease hotspots,” Ramos says.

EcoHealth Alliance

Among the organization’s experts are veterinarians, ecologists and conservation biologists. “All of our programs synergistically work to pinpoint the emergence of disease by testing sentinel species [such as flying fox bats in South Asia] as well as people who come in close contact with livestock and wildlife,” he says.

Last year, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) began working with the organization on a global emerging pandemic program, which stems from EcoHealth Alliance’s study noting disease hotspots. Called PREDICT, the five-year program is bringing together groups to research emerging diseases in areas considered high risk. William Karesh, PhD, is directing the program as the Alliance’s new executive vice president for Health and Policy.