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Cornell University

Blogs from the Field

A healthy future for wildlife, people, and planet.

Salmon net pens

Mostly stuck at home like the rest of you, I cannot get the constant talk about testing and tracing out of my head during this COVID-19 pandemic. New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s voice is ever present, and I welcome his daily, even-tempered and pragmatic broadcasts about how to keep us safe. Given my line of work, I easily saw some analogies, and I said to my work-at-home spouse on one of our daily walks, “Fish farmers have to deal with epidemics, too.”
Hawai'ian Apapane bird with mosquito in eye

Vector-borne infectious diseases pose substantial threats to human health and the conservation of wildlife. Avian malaria in Hawai‘i provides an example of the devastation caused by the emergence and spread of such diseases within susceptible host populations.
Hand holding up globe

We drafted The Manhattan Principles on 'One World, One Health' in 2004. In 2020, let’s act as if we truly comprehend the pandemic’s stark reminder that there really is only one world, and one health. May Earth Days to come be better for it.
Earth with face mask

I have spent my career trying to think of ways to enhance my own species’ respect and concern for the rest of life on Earth. Perhaps a tiny, invisible virus will be what actually (hopefully) tips the scales towards a critical mass of global understanding of the fact that our own health is intimately tied to how we treat the natural world…. It’s not too soon to make this a “never again” moment. The very good news is that we can, and we must.
A Double-Crested Cormorant seen perched in a tree

The news is depressing. A recently released article in Science by my colleagues at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology shows that 3 billion birds have vanished in the lasts 50 years….
Elephant and baby in the wild

At our recent meeting in Maun, Botswana, an unprecedented reimagination of rangeland stewardship gained genuine traction, an approach that could resolve land-use conflicts that have plagued the nation and the region for more than half a century....
Entrance to “Panda Valley” in Dujiangyan, one of the research sites we frequently visited

Two years ago, nearly to the day, I sat across from Dr. Marc Valitutto in a conference room at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia....
Histo slide of a newt's skin; examples of a normal and necrosis affected sample

When the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab investigates mortalities in wildlife, our specially trained pathologists use diagnostic tools to crack the case....
A juvenile bald eagle shown on an exam table for a necropsy to begin

What do you call the post-mortem examination of an animal? The appropriate term is “necropsy,” derived from necro (“death”)….
Amur tiger in winter

The fate of our wildlife lies at the hands of our policy makers – an obvious statement perhaps, but sometimes these forces work in unexpected ways....