The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Great Health Program For Gorillas and Other Apes In The Wild



Conservation medicine or “one health medicine” exists at the intersection of animal health, human health, and ecosystem health. It differs from classical public health epidemiology in that it aims to protect and improve ecosystem and animal health, in addition to human health. Conservation medicine studies diseases shared among species and interactions with environmental variables over long-term biological and spatial scales.

Zoonotic diseases and the emergence of new diseases are of primary concern, and are particularly important when threatened and endangered great ape populations are involved. The effective practice of conservation medicine demands and integrated team approach involving wildlife and livestock veterinarians, local physicians, public health professionals, ecologists, politicians and communities. Common interests, improved data collection, and economies of scale argue for combining health surveillance and delivery efforts. This team approach must be tailored to the infrastructure and sophistication of the host country’s human and livestock health systems, and must also be appropriate for the size and characteristics of the great ape populations.

Examples from gorilla conservation programs range from small populations with individually identifiable gorillas surrounded by dense human populations, to large unhabituated gorilla populations in areas of very low human density. In the successful Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, the wildlife veterinarian coordinates the “one health” approach, because of their training in wildlife and livestock medicine as well as zoonotic and emerging disease issues.

MGVP staff work in three countries: Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mountain gorillas are found only in Central Africa and only in two regions: 1) the Virunga Massif mountain range which includes the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda (Parc National des Volcans), the Virunga National Park in the DRC (Parc National de Virunga) and the Mgahinga National Park in Uganda; and, 2) the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda.

The success of MGVP, Inc. is dependent upon working agreements with various organizations and well-established partnerships. Our primary partners include the Office Rwandais du Toursime et des Parcs Nationaux (ORTPN) in Rwanda, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Uganda, and the Insitut pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and their respective park authorities.

The field veterinarians in each country work together whenever possible. The regional headquarters are centrally located in Musanze, Rwanda—an hour's drive from both the DRC and Uganda. The project maintains its international headquarters in Maryland, USA, and its regional headquarters in Ruhengeri (Musanze), Rwanda. The MGVP staff also has access to dedicated office space in Goma, DRC as well as in Buhoma and Kampala, Uganda.

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