Writes for Wildlife

celebration and protection of the natural world

Kids are Wild

Promoting engagement with wildlife and the natural world, is a cause very close to my heart. I love to share the fascinating facts, strange quirks and outstanding beauty of the natural world that inspire me. While simple pleasure is one motivation for experiencing nature, there is a more compelling reason to venture out: nature is good for us.


Nature benefits everyone, directly and indirectly. We know from experience that simply getting some fresh air, exercising in a local greenspace, or watching a beautiful sunset can boost our current state of mind, but the more you can manage, the better. The advantages of experiencing nature are not reserved for those who live near wildlife reserves or who have a holiday home on the coast. Nature is available to everyone everywhere, and with a little planning and maybe some creative thinking, we can all increase our nature quotient.

Why should we put effort into spending time in nature? There are so many benefits to mental, and physical health both immediate and longer term. Everyone can and does benefit from nature, whether they seek it out or not, but being aware of how much good we can do ourselves might make those trips out a priority. Various ecosystem factors play positive roles in human wellbeing; forests and biodiversity both have protective roles for global human health. We are in no way separate from the natural world, however urbanised our day-to-day experiences are. To protect, celebrate and seek out nature, is to connect with our natural past and to invest in a future of improved health.

As adults it is our collective responsibility to ensure that kids get to experience natural phenomena, to see beautiful views, and move their bodies in natural environments. We are also responsible for using and caring for our local natural spaces, to allow continued accessibility and shared benefits.

I am particularly passionate about sharing nature with kids, partly because I am a parent of young children, partly because I was lucky enough to grow up enjoying abundant natural spaces and wildlife, but also because the benefit to kids can be dramatic.

For children, the benefits of spending time in natural environments are continuing to be studied. The results so far make fascinating reading and provide more than enough reason to make the time to share nature with the young people in your life.




Benefits to kids include, but are not limited to

  • Increased resilience and ability to handle difficult situations
  • Increased concentration for academic activities
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved connection with local community, through use of shared greenspaces
  • Playing in natural environments improves coordination and agility
  • Increased Energy
  • Improved eyesight
  • Stimulation of creative thinking
  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Positive effect on mental health, immediate and ongoing
  • Positive effect on fitness
  • Fosters connection with nature and environmental issues
  • Regular play in natural environments helps to form life-long healthy habits

These do indeed sound like gifts we would wish to bestow on our children, but how to fit ‘nature’ in to modern family life? To answer, I intend to continue this series of posts, taking a look at the benefits of nature in more detail and providing links to relevant studies, further reading, and achievable outdoor activities.

If getting outside with your kids currently seems daunting I will include ideas of how and where to get outside, from free and simple quick fixes to more epic excursions; quick cloud watching sessions, rockpooling, forest schools or maybe a camping trip.

I look forward to taking this series further and engaging in the conversation about our children’s health and wellbeing. Please join me and we can let the kids be wild together.



Zoonoses, Emerging Infectious Diseases and Wildlife

Zoonoses are infectious diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animal species. The infectious agent may be a bacteria, virus, fungus, protozoa or helminth. Zoonoses may be transmitted directly, indirectly or be vector-borne (e.g. via an insect bite). Humans have lived in close contact with animal species for thousands of years, and so while zoonoses are not a new phenomenon, they are receiving more focus recently because of the role they are playing in emerging infectious diseases.

Most emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are zoonotic pathogens. In fact since the 1940s more than three hundred human diseases have emerged from animals, and of the pathogens which affect humans, the majority (61%) are zoonotic. Many of the zoonoses have reservoirs of infection within wildlife populations. A reservoir of infection is often a group or species of animals which can carry and possibly transmit organisms infectious to humans, without displaying symptoms of disease. (Taylor et al. 2001) EIDs are receiving attention because of the negative impact on human and animal health, with potential associated economic consequences. They may affect farm animal health and welfare as well as wildlife conservation efforts.

The role of wildlife in zoonoses is multifaceted. Anthropogenic factors are driving major changes of wildlife habitats. The increasing global human population and the associated requirement for food, shelter and fresh water creates more opportunities for wildlife interaction and therefore infection.

Climate change and global warming provide conditions where pathogens may be able to exploit a new geographic niche or host species. Most microorganisms have optimum temperature ranges, and environmental changes can lead to alterations in transmission, environmental persistence, or virulence. The consequences of these changes are not always predictable. (Bengis et al. 2004) In countries where water is a limited commodity, water sources can become a location for direct and indirect infection of humans by the wildlife species with which they share this essential resource.

Direct destruction of habitats by humans, means that the wildlife residents are required to relocate, learn new foraging behaviour, or rely on novel food species, all of which creates potential conflict and interactions with humans.

One devastating example of the interconnectedness of wildlife, humans, livestock and disease, and the importance of forests for human health, occurred in Malaysia in the late 90s. Slashing and burning of vast swathes of tropical rainforest provide land for pig farming. The fruit bats who had been displaced from the forest, were forced to forage for fruit on the trees near the pig farms. Pigs ate the pieces of fruit contaminated with bat saliva and urine which fell into their enclosures. The pigs ingested the Nipah virus, which is carried asymptomatically and shed by the bats, and developed severe respiratory and neurological symptoms. For many pigs the first symptom was sudden death. The Pig farming industry collapsed at a massive financial loss to the farmers and the Malaysian economy. In addition to this there were hundreds of humans infected by the virus and more than one hundred people lost their lives. (Aguirre et al. 2012, Kahn, 2011) However, there needs to be caution in the response to identifying the source of infection or the reservoir species. Bats for example, provide many essential ecosystem roles including pollination, insect consumption and seed dispersal; they should not be thought of as primarily a source of infection.

As the human population increases, some communities employ varied means of finding food. In some countries of the world this means that bush meat is being hunted, traded and eaten on a regular basis. Currently over 500 million wild animals each year. Not only is this a threat to several iconic and critically endangered species, but the opportunities for human infection arising from the contact with and consumption of infected animals is increasing. Ebola virus causes a haemorrhagic disease of both humans and great apes; and with no specific treatment, mortality rates in both groups can be high.  (Bermejo, et al. 2006) HIV is also thought to have entered the human population via bushmeat consumption. (Bengis et al. 2004)

Wildlife trade is also big business, with live animals or animal products shipping round the globe. Millions of birds and fish are transported live each year, as well as tens of thousands of primates and reptiles. The trade is estimated to be worth $6 billion. The increase in intensive farming means that an outbreak of disease in a single species can be devastating.

As well as being a source, wildlife can be adversely affected by zoonotic diseases. The impact on human health of Ebola, Rabies, and HIV, which are all zoonotic pathogens, cannot be underestimated as they cause significant morbidity and mortality. However, Humans are also able to infect vulnerable wildlife species. Gorilla tourism in Africa has become a popular way to raise funds to support conservation of this critically endangered species. However Gorilla are susceptible to pathogens any human visitors may be carrying, particularly respiratory viruses. Gorilla have also sustained marked losses due to the recent Ebola outbreaks. (Bermejo, et al. 2006)

Examples of zoonotic diseases – Many pathogens can affect human, livestock and wildlife health. (Image adapted from: GAO analysis of USGS data, 2011)


Travel to almost everywhere on the globe is possible; the world is increasingly connected. This means that pathogens, diseased people and animals may also move around with relative ease, meaning that infectious diseases can be difficult to contain or to then trace to a source when an epidemic is under way. A concerted, multidisciplinary, global effort is required to reduce the impact of zoonotic diseases worldwide. There must be collaboration between human health professionals, ecologists, animal health professionals, as well as other involved parties to try to predict, monitor and document diseases. The role that biodiversity plays, in maintaining health cannot be overlooked, and I plan to cover these topics further in future posts.




Aguirre, A., Daszak, P. & Ostfeld, R. (2012). New directions in conservation medicine applied cases of ecological health. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press

Bengis RG, Leighton FA, Fischer JR, Artois M, Mörner T, Tate CM. (2004) The role of wildlife in emerging and re-emerging zoonoses. Rev Sci Tech. Aug;23(2):497-511.

Bermejo M., Rodríguez-Teijeiro, J., Illera G., Barroso, A. Vilà, C. Walsh, P. (2006) Ebola Outbreak Killed 5000 Gorillas. Science: Vol. 314, Issue 5805, pp. 1564 DOI: 10.1126/science.1133105

GAO analysis of USGS data (2011)  https://www.gao.gov/assets/590/586047.pdf

Kahn, LH, (2011) https://thebulletin.org/2011/02/deforestation-and-emerging-diseases/

Taylor LH, Latham SM, Woolhouse ME, Risk factors for human disease emergence. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2001 Jul 29;356(1411):983-9. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2001.0888


Scottish Caterpillar Hunt 2018

This summer our family enjoyed hunting for caterpillars when we were out and about and we took pictures of the different species that we were lucky enough to find. I have pulled them all together in a photo post here to share with you.

This is an enjoyable and easy activity to enhance family outdoor adventures and children of all ages are usually successful at finding little creatures in the undergrowth. Older kids could write a nature diary or report, take the photos, or make a presentation. We all enjoyed looking up the species we didn’t know on-line and in print. The benefit of caterpillars as a photo subject is that they don’t scurry away too fast, unlike many other wildlife species….!

Here are our selection of species for summer 2018, all were spotted in Scotland, UK.

Fox Moth Caterpillar, near Biggar, March

Drinker Moth Caterpillar, North Third Reservoir, Stirling, April


Yellow Underwing Moth Caterpillar (I’m not certain of my ID here, so suggestions welcomed!), Falkirk area, April.


Drinker Moth Caterpillar, Near Loch Venechar, May

Many spooky-looking clusters of Ermine Moth Caterpillars, Livingston, June

The foliage was covered by these webs, and there were hundreds of caterpillars associated with them. An amazing sight.



Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars, Grangemouth & Culross, July


A selection of photos of the many colour variations of Campion Moth Caterpillars. we find many of these in our garden since we planted red campion wildflowers. The caterpillars can be found inside the seed heads after the plants have flowered. All spotted in Larbert, July.

Another Fox moth caterpillar, Glen Roy, Fort William, July

An Emperor Moth Caterpillar, Glen Roy, Fort William, July. (Appologies for the blurry picture, but because this was the most impressive species we spotted, I had to include it!)




Grey Dagger Moth Caterpillar, Larbert, August


Large Cabbage White Butterfly Caterpillar, Larbert, September.



We saw many more moth caterpillars than butterfly caterpillars, and by far our most impressive was the Emperor moth caterpillar; it was really quite large, about 10cm long and prompted us to get ridiculously excited on the hillside in Fort William!

That concludes our caterpillar round up for 2018 and we had such fun looking for them that I am sure we will continue to hunt next year and hopefully we can tick off a few more species.

Which species did you spot this year? Do get in touch, leave me a comment below or stop by my twitter or instagram feeds.








Scotland’s Red Squirrels

During spring, red squirrels are focussed on producing and nurturing young. The benefits to us are that there are numerous observable behaviours that can hint that the red squirrels in your area are breeding, even if catching a glimpse of the tiny kits themselves proves difficult. To find out more about red squirrel breeding behaviours, read my article on the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels blog.


A red squirrel feeding at RSPB Loch Leven earlier this year

Red Squirrels have been declining in Scotland for decades. This native species has struggled with disease and competition from grey squirrels (a non-native species, introduced in the late 1800s) resulting in a vastly diminished red squirrel population. Scotland is home to around 75% of the UK red squirrels, and the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project aims to bolster, conserve and increase the numbers of this iconic species.

There has been some encouraging news for Scotland’s reds recently.  Population decline has slowed and project showed that the numbers in 2017 remained stable. If you spot any red or grey squirrels you can report your sightings which will support this important red squirrel conservation work.

Threats to Amphibians; Part 1: Ranaviruses

The Northern hemisphere is currently in the midst of spring, the season I have associated with frogspawn and tadpoles since I was a very young child. These days, I still experience child-like excitement when spotting amphibians in the wild, but there are ongoing challenges which must be overcome if amphibians are to thrive.

Common frog – the species most frequently affected by ranavirus in the UK

There are several factors threatening the existence of amphibians including pollution, loss of habitat, international trade in amphibian species, climate change as well as infectious diseases. Ranaviruses are some of the infectious pathogens contributing to dramatic loss of biodiversity of amphibian species.

Ranaviruses are emerging pathogens which have caused significant losses to amphibian species worldwide. Ranavirus is of such a concern that the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have placed it on a list of notifiable pathogens. (Schloegel et al., 2010) This article will concentrate on the situation in the UK.

The UK boasts only two native frog species (common frog and pool frog), two native toad species (common toad and natterjack toad), and three newt species (Palmate, Smooth and Great Crested). Threats to any UK amphibian could be devastating for native wildlife and pond ecosystems. Currently ranavirus has caused the most devastating effects among the UK’s common frog populations (rana temporaria), and has been linked to several mass mortality events in this species.

Ranavirus behaves slightly differently in the UK than in some of the other geographic locations in which it has been studied. Ranavirus usually affects adult frogs in the UK, while in the rest of the world the majority of the effects are observed in the larval forms (tadpoles).

In the UK adult frogs are more commonly affected than tadpoles

In infected individuals, the symptoms are varied. The virus frequently causes ulceration, either of the skin or internally. This may cause obvious wounds on the skin, or even missing digits, which can become secondarily infected by other pathogens. Cutaneous erythema (redness) may be visible, with swollen limbs, unusual swimming patterns and lethargy also observed. On post-mortem, haemorrhages are often discovered within the internal organs. The clinical signs are therefore non-specific and the overall appearance of infected frogs may be augmented by concurrent pathogens or pathologies of other origin.

Ranavirus first was observed in the UK in the1990s after several mass die off events in England. (Cunningham et al 1996) Continued study of those outbreaks and tissues archived at that time has revealed two ranavirus lineages detected in UK amphibians. These are termed CMTV-like (common midwife toad virus-like) and FV3-like (frog virus 3-like). The genetic data has shown that it is likely that FV3 in particular has been introduced to the UK at several times and different locations, although the exact routes and methods are unknown. (Price et al., 2017)

More work is required to fully elucidate the epidemiology of the viruses to clarify the host range and indicate any as yet unidentified species which may be involved in virus transmission. Ranaviruses are not species specific and have been detected in a variety of different species worldwide including fish, reptiles and various amphibian species. In the UK, ranavirus has also been detected in common toads and newts.

Although it may be possible to find an isolated affected frog, the primary indication of Ranavirus infection is mass die-offs in a population of frogs. Numerous individuals may be affected and perish within a short period of time. In the UK infections and mass die-off events were first reported in the late summer months, in South-East England. Since then positive virus samples have been identified in the West and North of England as well as in Wales and Scotland.

Three main outcomes for a population follow from infection. Firstly a transient pattern of infection may be observed, where after a period of pathology and mortality, there are no subsequent deaths. Secondly, catastrophic die-offs have been observed in some habitats where ranavirus kills all the frogs in that location. Finally, a persistent infection pattern has been noted. An initial infection period causes morbidity and mortalities in a population then among the remaining frogs, further mortalities are observed in subsequent years. These outcomes are without exception catastrophic for frog populations, which may not recover. (Teacher et al., 2010)

There is some evidence however that the frogs may mount adaptive immune responses to ranavirus. Behavioural adaptations have also been observed, where it was shown to be more likely that uninfected frogs would mate with each other. (Price et al., 2015; Teacher et al., 2009) So although much more needs to be known about ranaviruses to protect UK amphibians, and potentially other species too, there does appear to be indications that wild frogs are adapting to the presence of ranaviruses.

Everyone can play a role in preventing the spread of infectious amphibian diseases. If you spot healthy, normal amphibians sightings can be reported using the dragon finder app, which is part of the frog life group, which is focussed on conservation and education. Your sightings can inform future conservation efforts and research. Diseased amphibians or mass die off events should also be reported, this time via the Garden Wildlife Heath project. Finally, remember not to move any amphibians or spawn between ponds, to prevent spread of infection.

To prevent spread of infection, don’t move any spawn that you may find.



Cunningham AA, Langton TES, Bennett PM, Lewin JF, Drury SEN, Gough RE, et al. (1996) Pathological and microbiological findings from incidents of unusual mortality of the common frog (Rana temporaria). Philos Trans R Soc Lond Ser B-Biol Sci. 351: 1539–1557. pmid:8962441

Price, S. J., Garner, T. W. J., Balloux, F., Ruis, C., Paszkiewicz, K. H., Moore, K., & Griffiths, A. G. F. (2015). A de novo Assembly of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria) Transcriptome and Comparison of Transcription Following Exposure to Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. PLoS ONE, 10(6), e0130500. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0130500

Price SJ, Wadia A, Wright ON, Leung WTM, Cunningham AA, Lawson B (2017) Screening of a long-term sample set reveals two Ranavirus lineages in British herpetofauna. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0184768. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184768

Schloegel LM, Daszak P, Cunningham AA, Speare R, Hill B. (2010) Two amphibian diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease, are now globally notifiable to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE): an assessment. Dis Aquat Organ. 92: 101–108. pmid:21268971

Teacher, A. G. F., Garner, T. W. J., & Nichols, R. A. (2009). Evidence for Directional Selection at a Novel Major Histocompatibility Class I Marker in Wild Common Frogs (Rana temporaria) Exposed to a Viral Pathogen (Ranavirus). PLoS ONE, 4(2), e4616. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004616

Teacher, A.G.F., Cunningham, A.A. and Garner, T.W.J. (2010). Assessing the long-term impact of Ranavirus infection in wild common frog populations. Animal Conservation 13, 514-522.

Earth Hour 2018


Earth Hour is happening this weekend; a wonderful opportunity to start conversations and spark ideas to positively impact the planet and it can also be lots of fun!

This Saturday, 24th March 2018, at 8.30pm you can join this global movement for 60 minutes and commit to turning off all your lights for the hour. Each country’s earth hour begins at 8.30pm local time so that the sequential switch off sweeps the globe as the planet spins into a new day.

Celebrating Earth hour with children, (if it is not past their bedtime….. or maybe even if it is) can impact their thoughts about the planet we call home, and how the choices we make have consequences. Sitting with family members in the flickering light of the fire or candles for one hour can be a novelty, and a good time to discuss the reasons behind our choices and maybe brainstorm ideas to further help people, animals and planet.

However, the way you celebrate is entirely up to you: an hour of peaceful contemplation or a family story-telling session or maybe even get the neighbours involved and have a street party. Earth Hour is coordinated by the WWF and one of the strong themes for the next couple of years is focussing on preserving the planet’s biodiversity.

If you would like to find out more or sign up to join in you can go to the Earth Hour website. You can also watch the official video showing the many famous locations round the world switch off their lights and showing their support. If you decide to join in, do share your plans on social media; I would love to see how you celebrate.

Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary

As the snow in the UK finally melts and we get back to our normal activities, it might be an opportune moment to turn our attentions outward again, beyond our personal environmental challenges, and think globally.

The ‘Beast from the East’ created conditions in Central Scotland not unlike those in Antarctica…

Antarctica is a land of snow and ice and strong winds, but it is also home to a myriad of species and provides important climate services for the earth.

There are no people native to Antarctica, and most of the current residents carry out scientific research. Antarctica belongs to no single country or group and it follows that everyone has a responsibility to safeguard this unique environment. Antarctica is still relatively free from the detrimental effects of human activity, but only creation of an Antarcic Ocean Sanctuary will ensure that this wilderness purity endures.

We still have barely scratched the surface of the species diversity of the Antarctic Ocean. Some resident species have never been observed by a living person. As I mentioned in my conservation medicine post, biodiversity is vital for the health of humans and the planet. Scientists who study this area are amazed by the variety. It is certain that large scale fishing activity or mineral explorations will significantly harm this important ecosystem and research indicates that Antarctic ecosystems take years to recover from damage.

Greenpeace have been integral to protecting the landmass of Antarctica, but there is more that needs to be done to keep this truly pristine wilderness safe from anthropomorphic degradation. Many of the key species that we are familiar with, such as penguins, rely heavily on the health of the surrounding waters as they are ocean hunters. Vast quantities of krill make these oceans an important feeding ground. Krill are vitally important to the food web at all levels, and are the main food source of several whale species which visit these waters.  Seismic blasting, drilling and other mineral prospecting activity adversely affects the natural behaviours of wildlife species. Industrial fishing activities in these waters could have numerous detrimental effects including accidental bycatch, and damage to the sea floor.

The UK government can influence the creation of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary in the waters around Antarctica, as they are part of the Antarctic Ocean Commission. The proposed sanctuary is I.8 million square miles (five times the size of Germany). If you would like to be part of creating the biggest ocean sanctuary in the world you can sign the petition here.

If you would like to be entertained by David Harbour (of Stranger Things fame) dancing with the Antarctic penguins on a recent trip with Greenpeace to promote this campaign then by all means click here and enjoy.




What is Conservation Medicine?

I recently completed a post-graduate certificate in conservation medicine through the University of Edinburgh Veterinary School, but what is conservation medicine and why is it important?

An emerging discipline borne out of the collaboration of health sciences with ecological and environmental studies, conservation medicine is concerned with the health of people, animals and ecosystems and recognises the interrelated nature of these.

Although the principles of conservation go back thousands of years, as humans acknowledged a need to conserve the natural resources which they relied on for future use; in modern times it is a recently emerging field. Conservation medicine evolved from conservation biology, which as a term and a discipline only came into use in the 1970s.

It is important to maintain the biodiversity of the planet. This is a vital and immediate concern both for mitigating the damages caused directly or indirectly by the human race but also because of the human benefits biodiversity provides. Biodiversity benefits are multifactorial and may be economic, agricultural or medicinal in nature, and in many cases may not have been elaborated yet. (TEEB, 2010)  The naturalist Aldo Leopold extorted us to “keep every cog and wheel” as losing any single ‘cog’ may have untold negative effects for the functioning of the system as a whole, indicating that every species has an important role in the ecosystem, even if we are currently unaware of its value. (via Callicott, 1990).

Human activities have caused fragmentation and habitat pollution, produced increased levels of environmental toxins and changes in climatic systems. Climate change is an ongoing source of much debate and study. It has been shown that new infectious diseases are emerging, and that altered disease transmission patterns are creating epidemics at levels not previously seen. These effects have been shown to be as a consequence of changes in environmental weather systems. (McMichael, 2012; Patz, 1996; Yacoub, 2011; World Health Organisation, 1996). Habitat destruction or fragmentation creates effects on disease transmission also; it may allow pathogens to be carried to new species or locations as natural ranges are reduced or augmented but may also provide a novel niche for pathogens. (Meffe, 1999) These issues taken with the booming human population, the increasing movement of people, animals and other biological materials around the globe has created a situation where humans and wildlife come into more frequent contact, and the potential for disease transmission is greatly increased. Knowledge of pathogens, disease dynamics and how they may be affected by the environmental situation is central to conservation medicine.

Conservation medicine has been described as a crisis discipline, due to the rapid decline in the health of ecosystems and increased rate of species extinctions which are evident in our time. Acting to preserve the natural world may have to be undertaken without full knowledge of all contributing factors.

The current global situation we find ourselves navigating, where the human population is rapidly increasing, new diseases are emerging, and many species are becoming critically endangered has highlighted a need for a coordinated problem solving effort. A knowledge and understanding of health and disease, as well as the inherently-linked ecosystem features and environmental issues are integral to helping maintain a diversity of life on earth. Conservation Medicine is responding to these complex problems by uniting medical training (human and veterinary), with science disciplines and other knowldedge including social, political and economic. The recent increase in species extinctions (Ceballos, 2015) is devastating and this loss of biodiversity is detrimental to humans. Indeed, our future success and survival hangs upon our ability to defend and care for our planet, and therefore why conservation medicine, is so important. (Osofsky, 2000)

The benefits to animals and humans of the field of conservation medicine means that knowledge, understanding and experience of disease and its transmission, can be utilised to reduce morbidity and mortality and mitigate associated detrimental financial and environmental consequences. I aim to be passionately involved in conservation medicine as it evolves, to be at the forefront of wildlife conservation and promote health for people, animals and the planet.

Further Reading

The current definition of Conservation Medicine can be found here:

Aguirre, A., Daszak, P. & Ostfeld, R. (Eds)  (2012). New directions in conservation medicine applied cases of ecological health. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press. Chapter 1 p. 6.


Callicot, J.Baird, (1990) ‘Whither Conservation Ethics?’ Conservation Biology 4: 15–20. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.1990.tb00261.x

Ceballos, G., Ehrlich, P., Barnosky, A., García, A., Pringle, R., & Palmer, T. (2015). ‘Accelerated modern human-induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.’ Science Advances, 1(5), E1400253.

McMichael A. (2012) ‘Insights from past millennia into climatic impacts on human health and survival.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. ;109:4730–4737. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1120177109

Meffe, G. (1999). ‘Editorial: Conservation Medicine.’ Conservation Biology, 13(5), 953-954.

Osofsky, S. (2000). ‘Conservation Medicine: A Veterinary Perspective.’ Conservation Biology, 14(2), 336-337.

Patz, J., Epstein, P., Burke, T., & Balbus, J. (1996). ‘Global Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases.’ Journal of the American Medical Assosciation, 275(3), 217-223.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (2010): The Ecological and Economic Foundations; Chapter 2: Biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services. Edited by Kumar. P., Earthscan, London and Washington. Available at http://img.teebweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/D0-Chapter-2-Biodiversity-ecosystems-and-ecosystem-services.pdf

Yacoub S., Kotit S., Yacoub M.H. ‘Disease appearance and evolution against a background of climate change and reduced resources.’ Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 2011;369:1719–1729. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0013.





Here at Writes for Wildlife I will be discussing wildlife, conservation and environmental issues. As a vet with a recent qualification in conservation medicine, issues which relate to the health of animals, people and the planet, will be a frequent theme. However, my interests are varied and I plan to share any wonders of nature which insipre me.

I believe that connection with nature is essential for our wellbeing and that caring for the natural world is of benefit to all. Look out for my post ‘what is conservation medicine?’ which is available here, to get things started.

You can stay in touch with me here or

Twitter: @writes4wildlife

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