Wildlife Health

A wildlife veterinarian takes a sample of saliva from a small monkey using a bright orange sampling swab

The Global Health Program identifies and addresses health concerns in threatened wildlife populations. Their work is focused in East Africa and Southeast Asia — biologically and culturally diverse regions that are home to some of the most endangered keystone species on the planet.

Survival of wildlife in these areas is threatened by habitat loss, poaching and disease, among many other factors. Such threats to survival are only exacerbated by the lack of support, resources and trained wildlife health specialists around the world.  Through in situ clinical care, research and training, the Global Health Program plays a critical role in stabilizing wildlife populations so that all species and ecosystems may thrive.


Advancing Care in Panda Medicine in China

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, or Chengdu Panda Base, is a Chinese institution renowned for advances made in the propagation of giant pandas — one of the world’s most charismatic and endangered species.

Advancing Orangutan Care in Borneo

The Global Health Program works with International Animal Rescue Indonesia to ensure that disease risk does not pose a threat to rescued orangutans.

Anthrax Epidemiology and Vultures

Smithsonian scientists and partners are investigating the epidemiology of anthrax in free-ranging vultures across Kenya.

Gorilla Health in the Wild

The Global Health Program travels to East Central Africa annually to collaborate with Rwandan, Congolese, and Ugandan field veterinarians on research projects to benefit the conservation and health of the endangered mountain gorilla.

Investigating Oryx Diseases in Chad

Researchers are investigating infectious diseases that might circulate in wild antelope and domestic ungulates (like camels, cattle, goats and sheep) in Chad.

Lion and Cheetah Genetic Health in Kenya

Scientists are investigating carnivore genetics, population health and conservation management in Kenya's Maasai Mara region.

Novel Platelet-Derived Treatment for Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV)

Smithsonian scientists are investigating EEHV, a virus that impacts Asian elephants.

Pangolins: Health and Conservation

Smithsonian scientists study infectious disease, clinical health and conservation medicine of pangolins, the world's most trafficked mammals.

Rhino Conservation and Medicine

Smithsonian scientists are conducting a rhinoceros medicine workshop in Kenya and investigating a skin infection plaguing the endangered black rhinoceros.

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Changing Landscapes Initiative

Smithsonian scientists work alongside community members in Northwestern Virginia to evaluate the impacts of land-use change on wildlife, ecosystem services and community health.

Coral Biobank Alliance

Smithsonian scientists are part of the Coral Biobank Alliance, a global network of coral experts preserving corals for restoration and research.

Coral Species Cryopreserved with Global Collaborators​

View a list of the coral species that have been cryopreserved using a technique developed by Smithsonian scientists.

Wildebeest Conservation

Conservation Ecology Center scientists are tracking the movements of white-bearded wildebeest to understand how changes across the landscape impact the species.

Protecting Piping Plovers in the Great Lakes

In 2022, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center will begin a new research project to help protect endangered piping plovers from predation by merlins.

Swift Fox Recovery

Smithsonian scientists, in collaboration with the Fort Belknap Fish and Wildlife Department, are embarking on a five-year swift fox reintroduction project to restore swift foxes to tribal lands and to help reestablish connectivity between disjointed swift fox populations.

Conserving the World’s Largest Working Wetland

Conservation Ecology Center researchers are collaborating with institutions in Brazil and other Smithsonian colleagues to support sustainable cattle ranching in the Pantanal wetland.