Conservation medicine is an emerging discipline that links human and animal health with ecosystem health and global environmental change. The biosphere is threatened by several pervasive and synergistic phenomena that are the result of increasing human pressures on the planet: climate change, biological impoverishment (loss of biodiversity and ecological processes), emerging infectious diseases (‘pathogen pollution’) and global ‘toxification’ (pollutants such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals). These factors are working in concert to diminish human, domestic animal, wildlife and environmental health on this planet. By including conservation medicine and ecosystem health into veterinary curricula worldwide we can train young veterinarians that will help change paradigms and be able to form transdisciplinary teams. These veterinary professionals will develop new tools for assessing and monitoring ecological health and will be prepared to fulfil critical roles in sustaining global ecological health.
Conservation medicine – Ecosystem health – Sentinel species.