Animal experts are calling for better health surveillance of wild species to help stop the spread of disease.
Vets and scientists from around Europe are meeting in Edinburgh today for The European Wildlife Disease Association Conference.
Hosted and organised by experts from the University of Edinburgh, delegates will discuss the challenges of gathering health information from animals in the wild.
Many infectious diseases that affect people have a natural reservoir in animal populations.
The Ebola virus, for example, originates in wild fruit bats. Researchers will discuss new strategies to monitor and manage disease outbreaks in wildlife to safeguard the health of people and farm animals.
They will also review new diseases that are emerging in the wild. These include an emerging bacterial infection similar to leprosy that is affecting endangered populations of red squirrels in Scotland.
Anna Meredith of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies said: “Most infectious diseases that affect people originate in animals, both wild and farmed. Understanding how these diseases spread in wild animals is vital.”