'Healthy Wildlife Healthy Lives' - A One Health Project

About the Project

The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) is partnering with Murdoch University's School of Veterinary and Life Sciences on the 'Healthy Wildlife Healthy Lives' -- A One Health project, supported by a Lotterywest grant of almost $200,000. 'One Health' is a worldwide initiative that recognises the health of humans, animals and the environment are all directly linked and promotes the health and wellness of all species.

The 'Healthy Wildlife Healthy Lives' project aims to educate the community about 'One Health' focusing on human and domestic animal's contact with wildlife in urban areas. This will help the community to interact positively with wildlife and protect and conserve the environment for the benefit of both wildlife and people. The project will initially focus on Perth's Eastern Region and will involve the community in the creation of an innovative, low cost and sustainable model of community education, including a dedicated website. The project team will also be working closely with voluntary wildlife organisations such as Native Animal Rescue and Kanyana, as well as the Department of Biodiversity,Conservation and Attractions and local veterinarians. Once developed, the project is expected to be applied beyond Perth's Eastern Region.

Project Drivers

Many One Health projects in Australia have focused on the transfer of diseases from animals to humans and the public health consequences rather than the transfer of diseases from humans to animals and the consequences for wildlife health and conservation. This new and innovative project will seek to address this gap.

Wildlife, including birds, quenda (bandicoots), native fish and kangaroos, are threatened by diseases of human origin like toxoplasmosis, a common parasite, from food scraps and domestic cats, and Giardia from sewage contamination of the environment. A common interaction with wildlife that can transfer disease is backyard feeding with inappropriate food. Invasive fish species, like goldfish, that are released into waterways can compete with native species of fish and also transfer new parasitic diseases to native fish.

There is a need to provide information to the community on how parasitic diseases are transmitted to native species and how to reduce this risk, as well as information on what is appropriate to feed wildlife. This will help the community to interact positively with wildlife and protect and conserve the environment for the benefit of both wildlife and people.

Latest News

The Healthy Wildlife website is a key component of the 'Healthy Wildlife Healthy Lives' project providing the primary source of community information and enabling active and ongoing community participation in the project. The website was launched on 3 March 2017, to coincide with World Wildlife Day, which has the primary message of 'do one thing today to help the world's wildlife'. The Healthy Wildlife website aims to support this message by educating people to avoid unintentional harmful behaviour, such as feeding inappropriate food to wildlife.

To access the website, please click on the link below:

healthywildlife.com.au

Project Reference Group

A Project Reference Group was established in March 2016, with representatives from the local community, Native Animal Rescue and Kanyana, as well as the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and veterinarians. This group will meet quarterly to assist in developing the community education model.

murdoch university Lotterywest
Murdoch University Lotterywest

For further information please contact:

Karen Warner - NRM Coordinator
Phone: (08) 9424 2242
Email: karen.warner@emrc.org.au