Situation analysis on the roles and risks of wildlife in the emergence of human infectious diseases

Authors: Kock, Richard, Caceres-Escobar, Hernan,

This situation analysis presents a thorough, evidence-based examination of the relationship between wildlife and zoonosis, wildlife and emerging human pathogens and associated diseases, their origins, drivers, and risk factors. There is considerable divergence of opinion around the subject both within and outside the biodiversity conservation community and given the ontological challenges and highly different perspectives, contradictory narrative is unsurprising. Context is all-important and to clarify this in the analysis, the evidence of human diseases coming from wildlife is compared to diseases emerging from domestic animals and humans themselves, to provide context and proportions of the relative risk. The report highlights key knowledge, and provides perspective on where research, policy, interventions, and capacity building are needed to reduce risks of zoonoses and emergent animal-origin human diseases globally.