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Training Manual on Wildlife Diseases and Surveillance
c) Host species diversity
There are many different species of wild animals. Each is unique in its physiology, its life
habits, its population dynamics and its pathogens and diseases. This diversity of host species
poses challenges for pathogen surveillance in wild animals. One big challenge is the correct
identification of the species of host animal. This is never a serious problem in human or
veterinary medicine applied to conventional domestic species, but it is a major challenge with
wild animals. Yet is it critically important that host animal species be correctly identified in
surveillance programmes for wild animal pathogens. The expertise to do so, and to train others
to do so, exists in ministries responsible for wildlife, in universities and in naturalist
organizations. This expertise must be incorporated into programmes of surveillance for
pathogens in wild animals.
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