Wildlife Health Specialist Group


Commissioned by the IUCN Species Survival Commission to serve as a first response for wildlife health concerns across the world.

Mexico - Central America - Caribbean

Mexico - Central America - Caribbean

Veterinarians in the field

WHSG Regional Coordinator for Mexico-Central America-Caribbean: Dr. Rosalía Pastor-Nieto

Dr. Rosalía Pastor-Nieto was born in Mexico City in 1966. She earned her degree in veterinary medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico where she majored in wildlife medicine. She later received her PhD. at the University of Liverpool studying the social behavior of Spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) in captivity (under the supervision of Professor Robin Dunbar). As a Post-doc Fellow, she worked at the Ecology and Epidemiology Research Group of the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Warwick, and later returned to Mexico to become the Chair of Academic Studies / Center of Sustainable Development and Utilization of Wildlife (CEDESU) at the University of Campeche. Later she coordinated sustainable development projects at the Wildlife Research Center in Campeche, which is a rainforest reserve administered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).

As Director of CEDESU, she studied the utilization of wildlife by the Mayan people of Northern Campeche and collaborated in a related project that evaluated the distribution of wild primate populations. During this time, she also organized environmental education programs sponsored by British Council- Mexico. From 2008 to 2011 she was Technical and Research Director of Mexico City Zoos where she was involved in creating the Institutional Collection plan, in addition to preventive medicine and animal welfare programs. She continued in the field by coordinating the activities of the Conservation Genetics Laboratory of Mexico City and collaborating with the Institute of Ecology AC and Instituto Politécnico Nacional for a project funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society entitled “Epidemiological Survey of Free Ranging Black Howler Monkeys (Alouatta pigra) Living In Highly Degraded Habitats In Balancan, Tabasco Mexico”.

Dr. Pastor- Nieto has extensive experience as a consultant for projects in the public and private sector. She has participated as a speaker and organizer of conferences, courses, workshops and seminars at national and international levels, and has published scientific articles in peer- reviewed international journals.

These are the central Wildlife Health Challenges in México, Central America and the Caribbean that have been identified by Dr. Pastor- Nieto:

• Coral White Plague
• Chytridiomicosis in endangered anfibians
• West Nile Virus epidemics and prevalence in wildlife hosts
• Trypanosomiasis in wildlife hosts
• Ophryocystis elektroscirra in Monarch butterfly
• Morbillivirus in cetaceans of the Caribean and Gulf of México
• Papilloma virus in sea turtles
• Blue Tongue and Epizootic Hemorragic Disease in wild herbivores
• Vector transmitted viral hemorragic diseases in primates (yellow fever, Dengue)
• Malaria in wild primate hosts
• Masis (Cochliomya hominivorax) in wild mammals
• Tuberculosis
• Prevalence of Yersinia pestis in prairie dogs in Northern Mexico