COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The next webinar in the monthly Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management Unit stewardship series is “Influence of Disease on Wildlife Conservation.”
The online event will take place from noon to 1 p.m. March 3. Tammi Johnson, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research assistant professor of wildlife disease ecology, Uvalde, is the featured speaker.
The cost is $35 and advance registration is required at https://tx.ag/RWFMMarchWeb22. Upon completion of registration and credit card payment, participants will receive an email with two attachments — a receipt and a registration confirmation. At the end of the registration confirmation are instructions on how to access the webinar.
“We are thrilled to feature Dr. Johnson for our March webinar and grateful for her insight and perspective for landowners,” said Morgan Treadwell, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension rangeland specialist and series co-creator, San Angelo. “Johnson’s research program is tackling some of the most challenging problems in the state right now. For example, the movement of vectors and disease-causing pathogens by feral hogs.”
Johnson’s expertise in identifying priorities at the livestock interface has led to enhanced understanding of wildlife epidemiology, which will in turn benefit wildlife health, agricultural productivity, biodiversity and human health, Treadwell said.
Proactive disease management
An increased awareness of the role of disease in wildlife conservation will enable managers to focus on proactive, rather than reactive, approaches to disease management and its role in wildlife conservation, said Johnson.
Called the “father of wildlife ecology,” Aldo Leopold was considerably ahead of his time when he devoted an entire chapter to the control of disease in his seminal book Game Management published in 1933, she said.
Leopold recognized that disease was likely playing a much bigger role in wildlife conservation than realized and that wildlife population densities were probably governed by disease, Johnson said.
“As a disease ecologist, I study patterns of diseases in populations, with an emphasis on understanding the principles that underlie disease patterns,” Johnson said. “I strive to understand how host-pathogen-vector interactions influence the emergence of new diseases, the spread of familiar ones, and the appearance of outbreaks and epidemics.”
Texas A&M AgriLife Today