Conservation Medicine

Conservation Medicine is an interdisciplinary field that studies the relationship between human and animal health as well as environmental conditions. Veterinarians, ecologists and human medical professionals have come to recognize the role of infectious disease as an increasing threat to the health of animals, humans and ecosystems.

For example, pathogens such as rabies and Ebola viruses, directly affect the health of wildlife and human populations. Conservation biologists and veterinarians have become aware of the impacts of infectious and non-infectious diseases on the long-term survival of many wildlife species. The threat of zoonotic diseases is central to the study.

The burning of huge areas of forest to make way for farmland may displace a wild animal species, which then infects a domesticated animal with a pathogen. The domesticated animal then enters the human food chain and that same pathogen infects people. Hence, a new health threat emerges.

Conservation medicine might also be referred to as ecological medicine, environmental medicine, or medical geology.