Public Release: 

Morris Animal Foundation awards $850,000 in grants supporting wildlife research

Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation is extending $850,000 in support to wildlife research through grants to 13 studies. The studies cover a diverse set of critical health challenges, including lead poisoning, a newly discovered cancer and stress from management activity.

"Wild animals are at risk from far more than habitat loss and poaching. Diseases and other problems emerge all the time, some that can threaten a species' very existence," said Tiffany Grunert, Morris Animal Foundation's President/CEO. "These studies, run by some of the best scientists in the world, will help us make help us make a positive difference in those animals' lives and ensure their species survival."

Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit organizations globally funding science to focused on wildlife health studies, including health threats to many endangered species. The Foundation first began funding wildlife health studies in 1967 and has invested more than $25 million toward them to date.

Through the new grants, totaling nearly $850,000, the Foundation is supporting scientists at 13 universities and organizations, including Tuft University, Cornell University and the Smithsonian Institution. The Foundation's Wildlife Animal 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. Wildlife studies funded for 2018 include:

  • Understanding the Impact of Lead Poisoning in Bald Eagles
    Researchers will analyze multiple data sources to learn if lead continues to impact the long-term health and recovery of bald eagles. This new information will be used to help inform policy and public communication about lead exposure in bald eagles and other wildlife.

  • Tackling Another Contagious Cancer in Tasmanian Devils
    Researchers will investigate a second, recently discovered, contagious cancer in Tasmanian devils, devil facial tumor 2 (DFT2). Understanding how the disease is evolving and spreading will provide important clues on how to manage this disease and other contagious cancers affecting both Tasmanian devils and dogs.

  • Saving Endangered Frogs from Deadly Fungal Disease
    Researchers will look at ways to boost the immunity of critically endangered amphibians against the deadly fungal disease, chytridiomycosis, responsible for the dramatic decline of amphibian species worldwide.

  • Reducing Stress and Improving Supportive Care During Capture of Wildlife
    Researchers will investigate the effect of tranquilizers and supportive care on captured deer and bighorn sheep during management activities, such as sample gathering and tracking collar placement, to further improve animal welfare during capture.


About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation's mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded by a veterinarian in 1948, we fund and conduct critical health studies for the benefit of all animals. Learn more at

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