SNAPP TEAM:Steppe Health
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Our Challenge
Can we stop a highly fatal viral epidemic that threatens both endangered wildlife and the livestock that more than half the human population of Mongolia depends on?

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is an extremely contagious viral disease that is spreading into new regions across the globe, causing devastating socio-economic losses and serious damage to the livelihoods, food security, and nutrition for millions of small-scale farmers and pastoralists.

In Mongolia, the effects of the epidemic have been particularly dire. In August 2016, despite the Mongolian government’s vaccination of more than 10 million sheep and goats, PPR still killed thousands of head of livestock.  The disease also spread to wildlife and killed more than 50 percent of the critically endangered Mongolian saiga antelope in less than two months. Siberian ibex and Argali sheep also perished. This catastrophic loss of wildlife meant many of the significant conservation achievements of the last two decades were wiped out with the antelope, wild sheep and goats — with immediate consequences for other endangered animals, including snow leopards that depend on wild ungulates for food.

Livestock health authorities, herders, biologists, wildlife health specialists, international aid organizations and conservation NGOs will seek new ideas to free the country’s wildlife, economy, and livelihoods from this disease, and explore options for integrated management of wildlife and livestock health.

Team Status
NEW
Team Critical Challenge
Goals
  • Produce a comprehensive report of the PPR outbreak at the wildlife-livestock interface in Mongolia, its characteristics and drivers, by facilitating data sharing across livestock management, livestock health, wildlife health and conservation sectors.
  • Develop a multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) to map the risk of disease transmissions and spread between livestock and wildlife using expert knowledge from livestock herders, government authorities, epidemiologists, biologists and other stakeholders. These risk maps will support decision for the surveillance, management and control of PPR in Mongolia.
  • Create a population and disease dynamics model to understand the long-term behavior of PPR where wildlife and livestock interact, to guide PPR eradication in Mongolia and globally.
  • Identify participatory approaches (e.g., reporting tools) to empower citizens to work with the authorities as active participants in disease surveillance, control and eradication.
Team Leaders
Amanda Fine
Wildlife Conservation Society
Enkhtuvshin Shiiledgdamba
Wildlife Conservation Society
Team Members
Andy Dobson
Princeton University
Bayarjargal Yunden
The Nature Conservancy
Felix Njeumi
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) joint PPR Secretariat
Jeffery Mariner
Tufts University
Lhagvasuren Badamjav
Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Mathieu Pruvot
Wildlife Conservation Society
Richard Kock
Royal Veterinary College, University of London
Technical Staff Representative
Veterinary Services, Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry
Technical Staff Representative
Wildlife Protection, Ministry of Environment and Tourism
Véronique Chevalier
French Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD)
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