Morris Animal Foundation Announces 2016 Wildlife Research Grants

Newly funded studies address serious health threats to wildlife
species around the world

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Morris
Animal Foundation
, committed to solving critical health problems of
animals around the world, announces 15 new wildlife health research
grants totaling nearly $1 million. The grants will fund investigators at
14 prominent research institutions, and include three fellowship
training grants for new scientists.

The scope of the studies funded covers a diverse set of health
challenges across a wide range of species, from a lethal genetic
disorder in California condors to deadly fungal diseases threatening the
world’s amphibian populations. The Foundation’s Wildlife Scientific
Advisory Board reviewed all submitted grant applications and selected,
based on scientific merit and impact, the studies with the greatest
potential to save lives, preserve health, and advance veterinary care.

Studies funded include:

  • Researchers at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and
    Medicine in the United Kingdom will conduct a three-year disease
    surveillance program to help wildlife managers develop a response plan
    to manage the threat of fungal diseases in Madagascar’s amphibians.
  • Zoological Society of San Diego scientists will study the genetic
    basis for chondrodystrophy, a lethal form of dwarfism in California
    condors, to help guide decisions about birds released into the wild or
    paired in captivity. The California condor remains a critically
    endangered species, and this genetic disease is threatening recovery
    efforts.
  • Researchers with the University of Adelaide in Australia hope to
    identify populations of retrovirus- and chlamydia-free koalas to
    increase understanding of the pathogens affecting these animals and
    assist in conservation efforts. A rapid decline in koala populations
    in Australia, due to these two major diseases, is threatening the
    survival of this iconic species.

“We often think of wildlife populations as under threat solely from
habitat loss or poaching, but emerging and endemic diseases are
increasingly a source of concern for these populations. For endangered
species with critically low population sizes, extinction could be one
outbreak away,” said Barbara Wolfe, DVM, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer
at Morris Animal Foundation. “The studies included in this round of
funding demonstrate the wide range of health challenges wildlife
populations experience, but also give us hope that today’s researchers
can find ways to protect at-risk populations and ensure they exist for
generations to come.”

About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation is a global leader in funding scientific
studies that advance the health of companion animals, horses and
wildlife. Since its founding in 1948, the Foundation has invested more
than $103 million toward 2,500 studies that have led to significant
breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments and preventions to benefit
animals worldwide. Learn more at Morris
Animal Foundation
.

Contacts

Morris Animal Foundation
Carol Borchert, 303-708-3418
cborchert@morrisanimalfoundation.org