The Importance of Epidemiology and R0 in Wildlife Rehabilitation


  • Elizabeth Daut Schubot Exotic Animal Bird Health Center College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University



basic reproduction number, disease, epidemiology, R0, wildlife rehabilitation, Basic reproduction number, disease, epidemiology, R0, wildlife rehabilitation


Wildlife rehabilitators are at the intersection between individual and population–level wildlife health. Epidemiology is the study of diseases at population levels and mounting evidence suggests that disease outbreaks can impact wildlife populations significantly. The basic reproduction number (R0) is used as a threshold value to predict whether a disease will result in an outbreak or die out. It is defined as the expected number of secondary cases caused by one infectious individual (the index or primary case) during this individual’s entire infectious period in a fully susceptible population. Rehabilitators should be familiar with the concept of R0 and the important effect on and contribution to wildlife disease epidemiology that they can have.


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Author Biography

Elizabeth Daut, Schubot Exotic Animal Bird Health Center College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University

Elizabeth Daut, DVM is currently completing a PhD program investigating illegal wildlife trade and disease risk in Latin America. She previously was a veterinary fellow at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.


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How to Cite

Daut, E. (2013). The Importance of Epidemiology and R0 in Wildlife Rehabilitation. Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin, 30(2), 1–4.