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pigs faceSupport for the Garden Wildlife Health (GWH) project


Year: 2022

Dr Becki Lawson
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, United Kingdom

Grant: £15,000


The Garden Wildlife Health (GWH) team continue to investigate the causes of ill health affecting Great Britain’s garden wildlife in collaboration with scientists from their partner organisations, the British Trust for Ornithology, Froglife, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Around  4400 disease incident reports were received from members of the public during the last 12 months, and the team conducted post-mortem examinations on over 160 wild animals. GWH vets shared information with members of the public in response to these reports, providing advice on wildlife-friendly gardening practice for disease prevention and control to help safeguard wildlife health and welfare.

Over the past year, the GWH team have been involved in a range of collaborative research projects, focused on: increasing our understanding of Usutu virus infection in British garden birds, following the first detection of this virus in UK wild birds in 2020; investigating the ongoing impact of trichomonosis on finch populations; exploring the occurrence of pesticide exposure to hedgehogs and the implications that this might have for hedgehog health; and learning more about leech parasitism of amphibians and snake fungal disease in grass snakes.

GWH team members continue to share information through social media, by participating in public outreach events, giving presentations at scientific conferences, and providing student teaching on wildlife health. Findings are translated into scientific papers, published in journals which are freely available to the public where possible, along with a library of disease factsheets, which are regularly updated and available to download from the GWH website.

For more information, and to report sightings of ill health in garden wildlife, please visit www.gardenwildlifehealth.org

Publications: https://www.ufaw.org.uk/garden-wildlife/garden-wildlife