Wildlife, people and development: veterinary contributions to wildlife health and resource management in Africa

Trop Anim Health Prod. 1996 Feb;28(1):68-80. doi: 10.1007/BF02250729.


Human population pressures, habitat loss, environmental degradation and illegal hunting in Africa have resulted in the loss of biodiversity and near extinction of certain wildlife species. The dilemma for Africa is the balancing of conservation and development. If wildlife is not to become a relic of the past then it must have more than just aesthetic value. It must contribute materially to the well being of people who live close to the resource. In fact, appropriate management of biodiversity would lay the foundations for a more positive future for the rural people of Africa, with the key being the adoption of an active adaptive management philosophy. This paper reviews the issue of sustainable use of wildlife resources and how the Veterinary profession contributes positively to wildlife health management in Africa. These contributions have been through increasing veterinary inputs into wildlife management and research, disease surveillance and prevention, training and education. Wildlife and ecosystems are increasingly having to be managed in order to save and maintain biological diversity. Veterinarians have a crucial role to play towards the maintenance of wildlife health as part of a multi-disciplinary wildlife management team.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Alligators and Crocodiles
  • Animal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Animal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild*
  • Birds
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Ecosystem
  • Education, Veterinary
  • Humans
  • Perissodactyla
  • Veterinary Medicine*