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In the News

Tiger lying down © Ronald Gilbert

A research team, including the Cornell Wildlife Health Center’s Dr. Martin Gilbert, published a case report describing the death of a Bengal tiger in Bhutan from neurocysticercosis (the presence of larval tapeworm stages in the brain). Bengal tigers are endangered, with only 103 individuals estimated to remain in Bhutan, with more in other range countries including India and Nepal.
A herd of wild sheep

Announcement

The Wild Carnivore Health Program was awarded a grant from the Wild Sheep Foundation to introduce a program of pathogen surveillance focused on argali and Siberian ibex to help maintain viable herds of wild sheep and goats in Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere in Central Asia.
An Amur Tiger shown resting

Canine distemper threatens a key group of Amur tigers, but an unconventional vaccination program could help. Researchers have found that vaccinating tigers for canine distemper virus can play a key role in improving conservation outcomes for small, isolated tiger populations at risk.
Tiger shown walking with trees and grass in background by Ronald Gilbert

While Indian tigers have the highest genetic variation compared to other subspecies of the feline across the world, their populations continue to be fragmented by loss of habitat, leading to inbreeding and potential loss of this diversity.
Tiger camera trap image courtesy of Nature Conservation Division, DoFPS, MoAF, Bhutan

For Your Information

Neurological disease in wild tigers has recently gained prominence following a series of fatal canine distemper virus infections affecting tigers in Russia and elsewhere. However, new research into a similar case affecting a wild Bengal tiger in Bhutan diagnosed a brain lesion caused by a human tapeworm - the first time the condition has been recorded in a non-domestic cat species.
A Bengal Tiger looking very regal by Blake Meyer

For Your Information

Tigers are among the most charismatic of endangered species and garner significant conservation attention. However, their evolutionary history and genomic variation remains poorly known, especially for Indian tigers. With 70% of the world's wild tigers living in India, such knowledge is critical for their conservation.
Siberian tiger walking in snow

In this commentary, Cornell's Dr. Martin Gilbert and WCS's Dale Miquelle argue that it is incumbent upon science-based conservation agencies to consider vaccinating high-risk tiger populations where epidemiological research indicates that it is necessary to mitigate extinction risks.
Tiger sitting in grass

A team led by Cornell's Dr. Martin Gilbert has shown that vaccinating endangered Amur tigers is the only viable method of protecting the species from canine distemper virus, which causes respiratory and neurological infections in tigers and other carnivores.
Two Amur Tigers resting in the snow; photo provided by Wildlife Conservation Society

We vaccinate our dogs against the canine distemper virus, but it also affects wildlife, including the rare Amur tiger. Our own Dr. Martin Gilbert’s pioneering work shows how vaccinating Amur tigers against canine distemper virus could reduce their risk of extinction.
Siberian Tiger standing in snow

New research published by Cornell Wildlife Health Center's Martin Gilbert in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that vaccination of endangered Amur (Siberian) tigers is the only practical strategy to protect these big cats from a dangerous disease in their natural habitat in the Russian Far East.